Twenty-three years ago, I stood in a muddy field in Western Massachusetts examining antique textiles from the trunk of a dealer's car at the Brimfield Fair. It was all in rather bad shape, but two items caught my eye. Ever the optimist, I bought them for a few dollars, and told myself I'd restore them at some point. What I know now, that I didn't then is that some things simply cannot be restored, and will eventually become even too fragile for display.
This isn't a dress, but a tabard. The sides are open, and there is a bit of a camisole at the top for modesty, but that's about it.
The lace, and the beading are so beautiful, but I don't dare try to steam out the wrinkles. I'm not sure it would survive a wash either, so I've tried to keep it packed away under good climate conditions, and hope for the best.
I'm sure it was a beautiful piece when it was new. It hasn't shattered much more in my possession, but I haven't taken it out for photos much. The gold fabric seems to have turned grey in areas-almost like it tarnished. There's no label, so I can't tell you much more about it.
The second item of clothing I bought that day was this coat, which I believe was ceremonial dress for some sort of Freemason group-I couldn't tell you which one.
MCulley & CO. Columbus O.
Military & Society Goods
The mettalic thread here has tarnished as well. I thought the snap-fastenings were interesting
My collection is filled with interesting, but unwearable pieces, and I'll be showing them here from time-to-time. If you know anything about these pieces, I'm always interested in hearing it. The seller thought this was a Knights of Pythias jacket, but subsequent reading has led me to believe that was incorrect.
Next time, I have a pretty little velvet Victorian capelet to show (and that one's still in wearable condition).