Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jumps? or Bodice?

On ebay, this very interesting upper body garment brings lots of questions, no answers.   No sure date, no provenance, if I were to guess I would say c1790-1800.  But.. that is a guess only. Let's take a look

 Inside view of the lining has the typical piecing of an early garment.  The quality and color of the linen lining is also correct for an early garment.

 This center front view shows lacing holes that I am guessing from the image are about 2 inches apart.  Hard to tell but they do not look like the holes accommodate a spiral lacing, but since I can document non spiral laced stays in the 18th century (center front lacing), this is not a deal breaker.

 The edges of the neck and center front are bound in ribbon, not an uncommon finish for raw edges.  The eyelets are odd colors, but I believe that is more a function of fugitive dyes than it is a planned arrangement of colored eyelets.  The eyelets look correct, the knots on the back are correct for the period as well.  The stitches are also correct.

 This little inserted gusset is also a typical fitting solution for the 18th century.
The fabric will be the big clue here.  Now we just have to find a similar printed fabric and we could possibly nail down the date.

 Back view with split tabs.

Inside view of center back.  The construction of the lining is also very typical 18th century.

Ok.. lots of observations on my part, no conclusions. But I don't think it is fake.  Comments?


  1. Hallie,
    The weird thing is that print fabric looks like things that are significantly later, but I'll give a look at the books tonight or tomorrow and see if I can find anything that fits with the rest of your diagnosis. Technically, no reason an indigo resist like that couldn't be late 18th, but I haven't seen it.

  2. It reminds me of the bodices from Provence around the early 19th century, same sort of fabric print and style.

  3. Hallie,
    Me again. I am a bit busy with the High Holy Days but a quick peek at my favorite artifact in British Textiles, the scalloped pieced bed hangings from Design for Printed Textiles in England: 1750 to 1850, plates 2.26 and 2.27 (detail), pp. 96-97, at the bottom of the detail image has a blue-and-white resist or discharge print with floral motifs surrounded by a lattice of somewhat more abstract motifs. But it differs from the jumps fabric in that it's clearly hand-done, not machine-regular, and it's not as strongly geometric. I'll look some more tomorrow at the atelier, but right now I'm in "maybe" territory on the fabric.

  4. I'm completely out of my league, but I'm wondering if it could be a later piece done using somewhat antiquated techniques. Like a modern-day grandmother making a dress for her granddaughter. She will try to emulate the new styles, but will fall back on the techniques her fingers know and solve problems in the manner she has always used.

  5. Do you know the origins? It looks very similar to the bodices of some Swedish folk costumes, which took its form in the 18th century and reamin the same during the 19th.

    Unfortunately in Swedish, but you can browse through 65 pages of "livstycke". Some looks exactly like stays and even has some boning.

  6. I agree, it looks more like regional folk attire than city/suburban Anglo/French/Italian stays or jumps. Too bad the stomacher doesn't survive with it.

  7. I have no idea about the form of the bodice, but the print looks very much like "Blaudruck" to me which is quite an old technique but still traditionally used in Eastern Austria, Hungary and Lusatia. It has definitely been there already in the 17th century.
    Unfortunately I cannot find any good descriptions of it in English, but maybe the pictures can help as well.

  8. Hmmm... Oh, now you have me VERY curious about this piece, too.
    Closer observation of the 3rd to the last picture... I see that it's not all uniformed, the design. Perhaps, tediously hand painted?
    I think I have to go with you that it's around 1800. I think I'm with a couple of the others here with origin. Definitely does not look French. Maybe Dutch or Austrian. Swiss or Swedish, is a bit leap. But I doubt it's Italian. Just my thoughts. Didn't look like much of what I've seen online or in books with French, English, Spanish, Italian attire.
    Checked with any of the museums about this piece? Kyoto? V&A? Met Museum in NYC? etc?
    Just curious because now you have me interested. It's a nice bodice.

  9. To me it looks like an attempt at "regional dress", but made somewhat later - 1830s or before.

  10. I don't know much about fabric production in the 1790s, but this 1795 gown has a kind-of similar fabric:
    Thanks for sharing these pictures, it is a very cool-looking corset!


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