I'm not really in the business of selling vintage clothes, but occasionally I need to clear space in the closet so here is where I'll be adding the odd piece from my own personal collection that I have built up over the years for research purpose, or like this piece, that I have discovered on my travels and have no space for.
This is a really wonderful original antique Edwardian or late Victorian bodice in black silk grosgrain and lace.
It is in excellent condition, with absolutely no fading or shattering of the silk, and looks like it has been stored away very carefully so it is in very robust wearable condition.
There is beautiful soutache decoration at front, back, and on the sleeves, with jet beading all intact with not a single bead missing as far as I can see. Three decorative silk-covered buttons finish the pleated waistband.
The bodice is interlined in black cotton, and is boned with all the original stays intact, straight, and secure in their casings. It appears to have all the original strong hooks, with just a couple of the thread 'eyes' unravelling slightly, so I have made these good.
The high neck is stiffened with celloloid (?) collar stiffeners, and these are all present, but one of them has snapped (although it is still secured). I have left this in place, but it would I think be possible to repair it or just remove it without materially affecting the look of the bodice.
There is one white cotton under-arm protector still stitched in place (a little discoloured), and I have left this in situ as it looks to be original (either to the piece, or to the period), and bears the printed words 'White Rose', and underneath 'single covered, made abroad'. The other one has evidently come unstitched at some point and been discarded.
Really the only flaw in this item is a small split in the cotton interlining at the shoulder, which sits under the bodice front flap so is entirely invisible when the bodice is closed. I have made a small neat repair to this to prevent any further damage, it really does not affect the integrity of the garment, I mention it just in the interest of full disclosure!
In superb clean condition, with no musty smell, this would make a great collector's piece, or is ideal for any theatrical or re-enactment purposes as it is so sturdy.
The size is small as to be expected, but still wearable. I would estimate the size to be a modern UK size 8, or possible a small-busted 10.
I have photographed it on a mannequin with the following measurements;
Waist; 25", but would go up to 26"