Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corps à baleine, France

This first pair of French stays are just lovely, described as a "Corps Alsace" and dated at 1770-80. Completely boned, the fashion fabric is an exquisite damask, and lined with a printed fabric. It is unclear what the fiber of the lining is, but the pattern is interesting. The shape of these stays do not really suggest 1770 or 1780 but much earlier. The spade and the spreading fingers at center front suggest a much earlier date. Bound in pink/peach ribbon, they are a work of art, no question. The ribbons at the shoulder straps do look original to the garment.


This Corps a' baleine, is dated 1735-1770, they are giving themeselves a wide range on this pair. Again the spade at center front and the spreading fingers. Decorative false lacing covers the center fronts. This lacing is not functional, but only for display. A beautiful gold damask is the fashion fabric and the stays are fully boned. Ignore the bows, the stylist put those on for the photos. The styling certainly suggests the earlier date.

9 comments:

  1. I want ribbons on my new stays!

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  2. Lovely - thank for you finding these and sharing them.

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  3. Just a thing : the first stays is designated as "corps" only (the french word equivalent to "stays", actually it means "body"), Alsace is the french region from which it comes from.

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  4. I am not sure why they designated the Alsace pair of stays as such by location and not as stays, since they are indeed stays. Sometimes the designations used by museums are obscure to the reader.

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  5. Beautiful! I'm inspired to line my next stays with a print like the corps Alsace. Thank you for posting these!

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  6. That lining is lovely, the usual lining in English/American stays is a blue check linen, which can also be really pretty, but not as pretty as that print!

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  7. What utterly gorgeous stays! Such wonderful inspiration for fabrics and colour combinations. Sigh. I want the time to do nothing but make pretty silk stays!

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  8. So what period do the spade and fingers suggest for these lovely items?

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  9. These stays make me feel faint...they are SO beautiful!

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