1858-60 day dress, American. This dress
is made from a printed silk-wool baregé type material, with a very fashionable flounced skirt and wide bell sleeves
The upper part of the sleeves is ruched. The material is a disposition
- meaning that it has been printed with a special border for the flounces and borders. It has its original pink grosgrain ribbon belt and embroidered whitework collar, and what is extremely unusual, it has a hand-written paper tag
tacked inside the bodice reading "Hastings & Turnbull, Main Street". Hastings & Turnbull were American dressmakers of the 19th century, and the dress was bought from the USA. Labelled garments of the 1860s are very rare and unusual. Labelled garments prior to 1860 are even scarcer, so this dress is an extremely rare example.
It needs quite extensive conservation, as the material has been damaged by rough handling, and needs to be relined and mounted onto a supportive lining to hold it together. Otherwise, it is in very good condition.
(From the Milford-Cottam collection)