C.1865. This little zouave jacket came all the way from France. I'm not sure whether this would have been a unisex jacket but I'm strongly leaning towards it being a little girl's
zouave (much obliged to Jake
for modeling this for me). It would however have been an expensive garment in it's day and would have been worn by a well off child.
It's made out of dark brown silk velvet and lined
in natural colored cotton. Pleated bands of peach silk trim
decorate every edge of the jacket. the silk trim is further adorned by silver thread trim. The dropped shoulder line is typical of the 1860's and the jacket features trimmed epaulets which were extremely fashionable during the mid 1860's. Each sleeve has a net lace insert at each cuff which would decorate the sleeve cuff
of the blouse showing through.
The jacket is still strong enough to be worn
by a child briefly but something this unusual and ornate should not really be worn often or for very long periods. There is some damage as can be expected of kid's clothes almost 150 years old. There is a 1" tear in the velvet at the back
of the left armpit, and some light discoloration to the brown velvet spotted throughout the jacket mostly at the back of the left sleeve. There is silk loss and wear to most of the pleated silk trim and on the epaulets. An area
of silver trim is missing from the right front and right backside of the zouave.
It would still be lovely to display or to put on a large antique doll. It's all hand sewn and it amazes me that such work went into a child's garment. Typically French in it's elegant trims and fabric and it's up to the minute fashionableness! I would say that this would fit a child of around 2 years old depending on height and weight. Jake is a tall child for 16 months and this is a little big and long in the sleeve for him. Measurements: Shoulders
24", but these are dropped seam measurements. Chest 28" but this would not
have been worn tight, and would have been worn over a blouse. Waist is free. Length: 9", sleeve length 11 1/2". (Formerly L. Hidic)