1880s Black Victorian front
1880s Black Victorian back1880s Black Victorian front11880s Black Victorian side1880s Black Victorian back11880s Black Victorian inside back1880s Black Victorian inside front detail1880s Black Victorian front detail1880s Black Victorian buttons

1880s Victorian Glass Beaded Black Mourning Bodice


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Product Description

This exquisite bodice is fully and firmly boned and lined in cream and brown striped cotton. It has a high collar and is heavily embellished with glass beaded soutache embroidery. The sleeves have been removed, leaving the armholes unfinished. The bead embellishments at breast, collar and hip line are typical of French beading of the period.

Closed at the front with 27 black faceted glass buttons set on brass backs (well matched bottom two buttons replaced at later stage). The seams are machine sewn, the inside raw edges beautifully cut and finished by hand. Whale bone stays have been hand applied and hand finished. All buttonholes have been sewn by hand. 1” cotton webbing strap attached to inside waistline.

The last 3 quarters of the 19th Century in Britain was dominated by Queen Victoria and her family. The wearing of black began in earnest after the death of Prince Albert in 1861. Queen Victoria never wore any other colour in public again. As a sign of respect, much of British society from rich to poor, adopted the wearing of black during any period of mourning. Mourning fashion was born and thoroughly adhered to well after Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.

This incredible bodice is primarily offered for costume and design research, but is robust enough to be worn if you are into the distressed look or Taboo!

LABEL – None

SIZE –  Extra Extra Small

FABRIC/FIBRE/MATERIAL – Silk Twill, Cotton lining, Whale bone, Glass Beads

COLOUR – Black,  Cream and brown striped lining

DATE – 1880s

CLOSURE –27 Glass Buttons at front

CONDITION – Poor: Item has extensive damage. For display, study, research and reference.




Bust 920mm 32”

Waist 580mm 23”

Upper Hip 760mm 30”

Shoulders 300mm 12”

Neck 430mm 17”

Collar Height 60mm 2.5”

Front Length opening 425mm 16.5”

Back Length from Shoulders to Trim 520mm 20.5”

Armhole 470mm 18”

Back Length 790mm 31”