Candlelight Silk Regency Style Wedding Dress, Bodice and Corded Corset circa 1828
Breathtaking, but flawed, candlelight silk Regency style wedding dress, button up bodice and corded corset from 1828.
This dress was worn by Maria Margaretta Fitzhugh Grayson at her wedding on November 25 1828 at Boscobel Plantation in Virginia. She married Richard Osborne Grayson. The note with the dress says 1820, but my research found that the date was mis-remembered by the relative who wrote the note (Cora Bowie Fitzhugh). As Maria wasn't born until 1810, and many family ancestry charts also show the wedding as having taken place in 1828, it is reasonable to assume Cora had it off by a little bit. The note, which appears to be written on a card enclosed with the original wedding invitation, is included here. Maria married at age 18 and died around 30 and is buried in Loudon County, Virginia.
The dress is done in Regency style, wide neckline with full sleeves dropped right off the shoulder, waist seam quite high. Closes up back with (missing) hooks, waist seam overlapping a tad. It has quite a bit of discoloration due to being stored poorly, but no shattering. Bodice is lined in muslin.
The additional "bodice" is made of the same silk- couldn't have been worn over the dress, but maybe worn with a separate skirt that has gone missing. Certainly the bottom of the bodice is unfinished enough that it could be the upper part of a dress? It was indeed worn as there are perspiration stains and damage under arms, revealing the lining. Loop braid trim, knotted buttons accent, though it would have had hooks to close up (missing, but one can see where they were). Again- a lot of discoloration from storage and wear.
The corded corset is done in an ivory cotton with cord stitching for support up sides and bust. Straps set as wide apart as they can be, to be hidden by the very wide neckline. Front has a panel to insert busk. Metal grommets, orginal cord missing- I used a vintage silk ribbon to cinch up. This has some discoloration as well but no holes. I can find no corsets of this age available at all for purchase, only in museums.
The set is very definitely flawed from age and storage but intact and really quite a breathtaking example of a wedding dress from the late 1820s. Of course the set is being sold as-is, so view all images.
corset measures 29" around (high), 18" waist cinched down, 29" around bottom, 18" long
dress measures 30" around bust, 22" waist, 46" hips, 11" bodice to high waist seam, 52" long, 13" sleeves
bodice piece measures 28" around bust, 24" high waist, 11" long, 4" sleeves