1770-1790 ca. Child’s Stays, American. Linen plain weave, baleen, or whalebone, silk braided tape. Dimensions: Center Front Length: 5 3/4 inches (14.6 cm) Waist: 18 inches (45.7 cm). Made in United States of America. This pair of stays is only eighteen inches around, and might have been worn by a small child of eighteen months to two years old. Putting stays on young girls and boys was not seen as harsh, but rather as insurance that their figures would develop the correct form, with chest out and shoulders down. While boys usually wore stays only in early childhood, they were considered essential for females throughout their lives. via Philadelphia Museum of Art philamuseum.org Accession Number: 1988-15-1Credit Line: Purchased with the Bloomfield Moore Fund, 198
1826 House Of Lords In High Debate. From A Regency Gentleman’s Life. From The English Spy By Robert Cruikshank.
Light-hearted look at a young man’s day in the early 1800s. Depicts the ups and downs of a young gentleman’s day in the Regency Era, or Jane Austen’s years. Through historic images, historical information, and funny anecdotes, it shows how a young man about town fills his day, where he goes, and who he spends time with. This light-hearted look at the longer Regency years is an easy to read overview of what people did and wore, and where they worked and played. There is plenty of information to interest history buffs, and lots of pictures to help readers and writers of historical fiction visualize the people and places from the last years of the 18th Century until Queen Victoria took the throne. Regency Life Series Book 3 Young Gentleman’s Day.com/suziloveYGD
1770-1790 ca. Stays, or Corset, English. Pink silk damask, lined with linen, reinforced with whalebone, fingers spread over hips. via Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. collections.vam.ac.uk. https://books2read.com/SuziLoveCorsetBook15
1750-1760 ca. Brown Silk Brocade Stays With Both Front and Back Lacings.
These silk stays have a small repeat floral brocade in rose, white, and green. There are cream, leather-backed waist tabs, stitched eyelets, and pink and tan linings. These stays, or corset, are unusual because they have both front and back lacings. This means that a lady could step in and out of her stays and then tighten the front lacing herself, thereby eliminating the need for assistance from a maid or dresser.
Women of the middle and lower classes needed to be able to dress themselves as they have no one to assist in tightening their lacings when they dressed. Most upper class ladies would be able to call upon a maid to help and would therefore generally use back lacing stays.
1811 August Walking Dress for a Mother and a child, English. Mother wears a typical Regency or Jane Austen style high round robe with full long sleeve trimmed with Van Dyke lace at the throat and cuffs and ornamented around the bottom with a Tuscan border in needlework. Short capuchin cloak of buff shot sarsenet fastened with broaches on shoulders and trimmed with deep Chinese silk fringe. Moorish turban bonnet gathered into a broach in centre of the forehead. Purple ridicule, or bag, with gold snap and tassels. Buff kid half boots, parasol with deep Indian awning. Child wears a short sleeved Spanish vest and trousers in one, which looks like a skeleton suit, a tight coat or jacket buttoned to a pair of high-waisted trousers. An Indian dimity waistcoat with long sleeves and collar trimmed with a narrow border of muslin, high shoes of purple morocco and a college cap of purple velvet with a crimson band and carries a parasol. via Rudolph Ackermann’s ‘The Repository of Arts’.
Definition Skeleton Suit: Shirt and trousers made as one connecting piece, often buttoned together, and were one of the earliest fashions designs made especially for children and were worn from the 1790s to the 1820s.
1816-1817 ca. Man’s Linen Shirt, American. High collar, ruffles down front opening, fullness from gathered shoulders and sleeves for unrestricted movement. Beautifully created and monogrammed by Elizabeth Wild Hitchings for her husband, Benjamin Hitchings, a sea captain. Wives or servants regularly hand stitched shirts from 1800s-1840s, before sewing machines, but handiwork rarely recorded.
From The Creator: This shirt was created, from the linen fiber to the finished garment, by the donor’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Wild Hitchings, for her husband Benjamin Hitchings, a sea captain, in 1816. It was common practice for a wife or servant to hand stitch family members’ shirts prior to the mid-19th century, but rarely was such handiwork recorded, making this case rare and intriguing. In addition, its elegant stitching makes it a perfect example of the familial care taken in sewing prior to the common possession and use of the sewing machine. via Metropolitan Museum, N.Y.C., U.S.A. metmuseum.org
1820 ca. Writing Box, English. Rosewood and brass inlaid writing box by William Dobson, The Strand, London. Makers label, gilded candle holders, ink wells. via antiques-atlas.com. Portable boxes for writing materials existed for many centuries but in the last decades of the 18th century socio-economic circumstances in England necessitated the wide use of a portable desk in the form of a box which could be used on a table or on one’s lap. Hence “Lap Desk”.