1790-1798 ca. Unusual Decorative Corset Or Corselet.
Corset, or corselet, has small metal disks, metallic galloon lace and two vertical rows of ornate metal hooks. Fabric flap covers the front laces. Though it looks gold, the fabric is light green silk brocaded with green silk and silver metallic thread in small leaf and flower motifs.
An unusual garment that is like a boned corset, but the outer embellishment indicates this corselet was worn over another garment. This corselet has probably been cut down from a previous corset and altered, as garments were passed down through families to save money. Straps have horizontal lines above the bustline, originally meant to tie together but the ties were later eliminated by sewing the separate parts of each strap together. Portions of the lining, which date from 1820-1830, were added later.
Possibly regional dress or fancy dress, because underwear as outerwear wasn’t fashionable in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. An embroidered or decorated sleeveless vest was commonly worn as women’s folk dress in parts of Europe. This corset, or corselet, is probably French regional dress and worn over a sleeveless dress with elbow length sleeves and decorated cuffs and called a bavarel.
Gift of the Helen Larson Estate
S2001.31.17. Via FIDM Museum & Galleries, Los Angeles, USA.