I've never seen anything quite like this bodice and had to ponder a long time over it to figure it out. It dates to about 1910, but is cut like a an older Victorian 1890's bodice, which leads me to believe it was for an older woman. There isn't any boning in it as was common after 1904, but is still cut quite curvy.
The beading at the back
of the bodice emphasizes the hourglass shape. The unusual thing about it is its short sleeves and tons of metal beading. Its quite exotic looking, like something that would come out of the orient maybe even a Turkish Harem, which fits in with the date of the early 1910's when designers like french Paul Poiret started the trend towards oriental style clothing. This bodice isn't as 'daring' as this new exotic clothing would be, like harem pants and hobble skirts. It might have even been bought on a trip to one of those countries
as the metal beadwork is nothing like I have ever seen here in England or in North America on antique costume.
The bodice is quite strong and is made out of velvet. Unfortunately, most of the pile has worn off and only patches of the velvet remain. The beadwork is stunning and in excellent condition. It makes the bodice quite heavy.
The bodice measures: Shoulders: 14 1/2", Bust: 38", Waist: 35" . This would have been worn with no corset by an up to the minute lady or a very loose straight corset.
(Formerly L. Hidic)