I will never ever get this lucky.
A brief post spurred by the discovery of this odd garment:
I found them in this auction listing on eBay. All the eBay seller has to say about them is this perfunctory description: “Circa 18THC, a cream silk brocade corset or stays with polychrome florals and ties. In mainly strong condition, there is wear and splitting, but overall good and strong. All items we list need to be cleaned.”
The maddeningly menial mishmash of adjectives gives no clue as to the history of the piece, so we are left with the pictures to be our sole diviners.
This looks like a fairly standard set of 18th Century stays. However, a second glance and you will notice that something is “off” about them, particularly the back lacing:
Yup. It’s sewn on decorative ribbon– not actual spiral lacing!
When you turn the stays over, it reveals a secret: a second pair…
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