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1939 to the 1945-ish Period, U.S., Woman's, Peach Color, Long Line Style, Corset
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This long line corset is dated 1939 to the 1945-ish period by it's patent numbers that are found on a cloth tag sewn inside. It is of U.S. origin. This woman's corset has no features of a girdle so it will be designated as a corset due to it's actual construction. The color of this corset is of a peach color. It's length reaches up to just above the bust covering the breasts, and it has 4 dangle type garters attached to the bottom edge. These garters are constructed on this example more like those of the 1930's period than those less complicated types found on 1940's models.
There are the usual elasticized panels found throughout it's construction, and there is a whole lot of boning incorporated into it's body material. There very plentiful bones are of the standard width as is usual and must have made this corset quite a sturdy undergarment. There is no closure zipper incorporated into this design. The body material is of a slightly heavier weight material that is commonly encountered, again suggesting that this corset was built more like a "TANK" then that of a corset (how appropriate!), or perhaps for wear during colder weather. The condition of this corset is GOOD PLUS. It has a few small lose threads of minor consequences, and the garter elasticized straps have a little light staining. There are the usual garden variety of small snags, tiny stains, seam openings, and some fraying, otherwise this corset is quite a nice piece.
Oddly, this corset is a very highly complicated contraption, probably designed by someone of the likes of a Rube Goldberg! It is not of a 1 piece design, or even of the more common 2 piece design. This complicated corset is constructed out of many sections that are sewn and/or laced together. The back side of this corset is of the laced style, but there is much more that has been added. Added to the outside of this corset are 8 very heavy material securing straps that at the mid waist horizontal position with 4 on being placed on each side, and then buckled together near the center of the tummy. If the lady needed some major "sucking-in", then these 8 extra supporting straps were just the ticket. We have seen some corsets with a single internal horizontal reinforcing strap that would go around the entire circumference of the waist. But never have we seen a corset with so many external straps as this. This is even a more oddball feature when considering that these 8 straps would show through a tight fitting outer garment at the waist. And ladies just hated to have their undergarments (like garter clips or hooks, etc.), show though to the outside as lumps under their outer clothing.
And if you think that that is all there is to this unusual corset, then hang on Kimosasbe because there is a whole lot more. During construction at the factory they added an amazing 2nd reinforcing panel to the front of this extremely heavily built corset. This 2nd panel is sewn to the inside frontal ("tummy") area. It is a large oval shaped addition that has an amazing 8 reinforcing straps holding it in place. The exterior of this corset has been pierced with 4 slits on the left and right sides respectively that allow these 8 straps to be slid through to the outside and then were buckled together in the front tummy area. These 8 inside straps are the same ones that were mentioned above that buckled at the outside tummy area. It would have taken most obese woman in the whole universe to be able to bust-outa this battleship of a corset! There are also many hooks that were added to keep this monster closed. As if with everything else that they built into it for reinforcement, that these extra hooks would really be necessary. Next, found sewn in the inside upper area is a light peach color cloth tag with "bevo" style, darker peach color wording that reads: "Spencer, Trade Mark, Individually Designed, New Haven, Conn., Made Under One Or More Of These U.S. Pats. 2,372,034 - 2,180,179 - 2,020,921, 2,180,178 - 2,205,771" (WOW!). As with all of the museum's garments that are being made available, none are being sold to wear as they are all considered as historical garments.
Comments from the Curator:
Antique corsets are quite rare to find today. This is primarily because by the 1940's period not many women still wore them for daily use, except perhaps for some older women who still preferred the older styles, or had obesity issues. Also, when they were worn, they were worn until they were no longer intact from hard usage and then had to be discarded. The design of this corset and it's slightly heavier gauge material suggests that it was for utilitarian, or daily use, even though it's complicated construction probably made it rather expensive in it's day. We have collected vintage corsets, stockings, and high heels for over 38 years, and have a fairly good idea as to what to expect when inspecting such rare vintage specimens. We have endeavored to describe this beautiful corset as accurate as is possible, however the final determination on any of the facts remains that of the future buyer. This corset incorporates features that are beyond imagination for most modern girls today. Just trying to assemble this battleship of a contraption with it's many straps/laces/and hooks would take a NASA engineer to figure out! Call it what you may, it is not of the more common, low waist line, corset style as it is long in length, just reaching up over the breasts like some expensive corsets do. However, it did not incorporate any bra cups into this particular style, which gives a rather flattened breast look. It is believed that this corset was a higher price garment while it does not include much in the way of superfluous detailing, it is otherwise an extremely complex undergarment in it's construction. The odd construction greatly adds to it's novelty and value. This garment would be a fine addition to any female mannequin ensemble that requires a very "robust" tummy tucker. Priced for the connoisseur of crazy Rube - Goldberg undergarments.
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