Thursday, August 25, 2011

White Cotton Coutil Corset c. 1900 Donated by the President of Royal Worcester Corset Company to the Brooklyn Museum of Art

This white cotton coutil corset c. 1900 was donated by the President of Royal Worcester Corset Company to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1950. 

Original acquisition tag with accession numbers.  Beautiful insertion lace trim at the top has a thin satin ribbon laced through.  Front busk closure and back lacing.  This corset is entirely machine sewn.  

Around the turn of the century, the shape of the corset began to shift, from the narrow hourglass silhouette of the 1880s to the elongated swan-like body of the Gibson girl. This new corset was touted as healthier with its new flat-front shape designed to “support the abdomen” and its lower cut that would not “suppress the bust.” This corset, when laced tightly, prevented even the small protruding abdomen of the earlier spoon busks, and it pushed the hips back and the bust forward, contorting the back into a graceful s-bend. The corset was a symbol of morality and dignity, a form of feminine armor to guard a woman from the evils of the world, and those who refused to wear them were thought “disreptuable,” and “slovenly.”

Source: The Corset, Valerie Steele 

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