This gown dates to about c.1900-1906. Made of silk satin that has been tin loaded and is now starting to shatter. Tin loading (adding metallic salts to the silks) started in the late
19th century in an effort to produce cheaper silks that still had the same weight as expensive silks, unfortunately the fabric does not last that long creating little splits in the fabric due to the metallic salts destroying the structure of the fibre. It was not unknown for clothes to do this during the era as well, even when new. Ironically this dress has its original makers label (Rosa C Korn Washington DC) on the stay strap in the bodice and was specially made (did the seamstress try to cut costs by using cheaper material not telling the customer???)
The dress would have been worn by a middle aged lady for evening wear or dinner as its slightly more old fashioned in style than what would have been worn by younger females. It is heavily boned with 15 bones in the bodice (which would have been typical in bodices of her youth in the 1880's). The bodice is lined in taffeta (tin loaded as well) and the square neckline has a chiffon scarf sewn around the neck. There is also chiffon on both 3/4" length sleeves.
The bodice shows the influence of the pouched pigeon fronted Gibson girl look of the 1900's but is still based on an old style tightly fitting boned lining.
Measurements: Shoulders 15" Bust 38" Waist
28". The skirt is very long and trained, about 50" long at the front and 54" long at the back. On me at 5'9", it trails on the floor.
(Formerly L. Hidic)