Victorian Cobalt Blue Crinoline Dress
This rare visiting/travelling crinoline dress dates to between 1860-1865. The dress is designed with carriage travel in mind. It is made of bright cobalt blue and white checked silk taffeta with a cream coloured, glazed cotton lining. The sleeves are quite an usual construction with geometric. The dress is entirely hand sewn and is in original, very good condition.
This dress is a rare visiting/travelling crinoline dress dating to between 1860-1865. The dress is designed with carriage travel in mind. The hem
can be hiked up using internal hooks and eyes. The circumference of skirt is also smaller than the oversized crinoline skirts of the early 1860s, making it more practical for travel.
The dress is made of bright cobalt blue and white checked silk taffeta with a cream coloured, glazed cotton lining. Cobalt blue was ever so popular in the 1860s. The sleeves are quite an usual construction with geometric cutouts and a central puffed up section mounted on the cotton lining. The cutouts are outlined with small black velvet ribbon trim.
The skirt part has an internal deep pocket hidden in its folds, as was customary, and a small coin pocket on the opposite side. The hem is piped – very rare!
The dress is fully boned and closes on the front with hooks and eyes. The velvet covered buttons are purely ornamental. The dress is entirely hand sewn and is in original condition without any later alterations.
This dress was designed to be worn over a small crinoline frame and several petticoats.
The dress is probably a modern size UK 8-10 (EU 34-38, US 4-6) worn with a waist corset of course (but please check the measurements to be certain – I use the M&S size guide to determine the size) and its measurements are as follows (measured when lying flat):
- Length (shoulder to hem): ca. 62″ (ca. 158 cm)
- Bust: ca. 34″ (ca. 86 cm)
- Waist: max. ca. 24.5″ (ca. 62 cm)
- Width at shoulders: 17″ (ca. 43 cm) (this dress has dropped shoulders)
- Length of sleeves: ca. 21.5″ (ca. 55 cm)
- Circumference of skirt hem: ca. 126″ (ca. 320 cm)
This dress is in very good condition. Structurally, it is excellent for its age with a very small L-shaped tear on the skirt hem, a small split at the waist on the front (barely visible) and very minor wear on the internal waistband (hidden underneath the closure, so not visible).
The dress is in reasonably clean condition, BUT there are some large scattered dark yellow and orangey organic spots on the front of the skirt and bodice, as per the photos (please zoom into the photos to view them). I also noticed mild underarm perspiration stains.
Please note that the photos were taken on a bright and sunny day. My antique 1860s mannequin has a rather large 36” bust and is a little too large for this dress.