This belongs to my art teacher, who is an expert in the West on historical clothing from 1800-1850. She is amazing! She has a three-volume dissertation for her Ph.D. and a clothing collection of 30,000 items. She bought this dress in Scotland for $300, and she dates it to about 1813. Can I just tell you, when I saw this dress I very nearly fainted. I had to lean over and breathe deeply, it was just so beautiful. It actually has an overdress with ends that come just below the three small flounces on the skirt and an underdress that comes up and ties at the high empire waistline. The fabric is the finest, sheerest batiste or mull you can imagine, and the hand-done embroidery is so meticulously done it just about makes your nose bleed to look at it. Don’t you love the long sleeves that come down over her hands? I love the tiny shoulder straps and tiny tucks and insertion on the bodice.
Thank you, Lynde, for sharing this heavenly piece of fashion history!