Saturday, December 20, 2014

First half 18th c Cool Weather Baby Wear

   Keeping Baby Warm

  I affectionately refer to these three pieces as my 'Three Amigos', as they came to the Museum together from the same family. Each one a little larger than the other~ for siblings or same child  I cannot say, but they are all precious!  Any 18th c baby items are rare, and even more so ones of color in something other than plain white linens. All are stitched with the tiniest of perfect little stitches, and all are wadded to keep baby warm in those drafty 18thc dwellings.  Most likely made from scraps of silk from Mamma's own gowns.

 They are all quite small, sized for a child 1-1/12 yrs old I would guess. A person could argue they were doll clothes, but I doubt that, unless the dollys were all sloppily fed in their day~ each have the usual organic  drooling/food staining to the center fronts up under the neckline~ most apparent on the pink jacket in the photo both above and below here. The arms of both are shaped, with each having slit, lace trimmed cuffs. All are back opening, which was the normal for baby things of the era, and close with silk ribbon ties
 The pink jacket is a hand quilted cotton candy pink silk lustring, a fine tissue silk~ bound in emerald green silk ribbon with back ties of the same. It has a lining of plain unprinted linen
The tabs of the shaped cuff are not wadded, with the lace stitched on thru all layers
 When held up to the light, one can see the seeds from the cotton wadding within
 The finely brocaded cream silk is the most elaborate~ in both fabric and construction design. The sleeves are long and shaped at the elbow, with elaborate shaped turn back cuffs. This shape of fold back tab was very fashionable in women's mitts during the time.  Additionally, the sleeves here are also edged in lace
 The back of the turn back is a complementary pink silk, and here you can also see the tiny piping on the edge
 Pink silk ribbon ties down the back, hiding a fabulous block printed linen lining.  A slight tear at one station where a ribbon was attached reveals a fine wool wadding here, much thicker than and not cotton like the pink jacket has.
The red and black block print linen lining  looks pristine and nearly new from being protected inside the jacket
Lastly, a little sleeveless waiscoat~ also back opening..... wadded but not quilted with red patterned stripe printed linen lining. I love the china yellow silk ties~ the color compliments the pink perfectly.  I can't help but think how warm these would have been on baby, just bundled up snug as a bug in a rug!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and now you share with your readers yet one more breath taking item! the blown glass was hard to wrap my mind around and now the baby clothes! growing up with antiques, I felt I knew a lot but 'meeting' bloggers such as yourself I realized that even at age 62 I am a novice. thank you for the information and education. please don't stop sharing with hungry readers!
Priscilla miller