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Wedding corset

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1887 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Izod, Edwin (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, silk thread flossing and silk braid, lace, lined with coutil

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Benjamin

  • Museum number:

    T.265&A-1960

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Fashion and technological innovation changed the shape of late ninteenth-century corsets. As the bustle replaced the crinoline and bodices contoured the figure, corsets became longer to achieve the desired hourglass silhouette. They encased the abdomen and enveloped the hips, and the amount of whalebone also increased to give a smoother outline and help prevent wrinkling of the fabric. This corset from the 1880s is composed of twelve separate shaped pieces and forty whalebone strips.

To improve shape, performance and comfort, manufacturers claimed numerous inventions. One of the most successful was the steam-moulding process developed by Edwin Izod in 1868, and still used in the 1880s to create elegant corsets such as this one. The procedure involved placing a corset, wet with starch, on a steam-heated copper torso form until it dried into shape. The result was a beautifully formed corset, whereby 'the fabric and bones are adapted with marvellous accuracy to every curve and undulation of the finest type of figure' (The Ladies' Gazette of Fashion advertisement, London July 1879).

This corset was worn by the donor's mother at her wedding in 1887.

Physical description

Corset made of white satin with metal slot-and-stud fastening. With hand silk flossing and a machine-woven silk braid trimming. Lined with coutil. Spoon busk and back facing.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1887 (made)

Artist/maker

Izod, Edwin (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Satin, silk thread flossing and silk braid, lace, lined with coutil

Marks and inscriptions

'IZOD'S PATENT MOULDED SEWN CORSETS [anchor mark] TRADE MARK
Stamped inside within oval cartouche

Dimensions

Circumference: 20 in waist, Length: 11.5 in back

Object history note

Edwin Izod was a British corset manufacturer whose factory was located in Hampshire in the late 19th century. According to the record of his baptism, Izod was born on 25th of December 1826 and baptised in the parish of St. Leonard's in Shoreditch in 1829. The 1881 Census recorded that Edwin Izod's business employed a workforce of 23 males and 337 females. According to the National Probate Calendar Izod died at Stanfield House, Southampton, in 1887.
RF FILE 60/1259.

Descriptive line

Izod's patent and moulded sewn satin corset, made by Edwin Izod, England, 1887

Labels and date

Steam-moulded wedding corset
Edwin Izod (about 1825-87)
Portsea, Britain
1883

Brides-to-be were advised to buy at least one corset as part of their trousseau, the collection of clothes and linens they prepared for their marriage. This corset was manufactured by Edwin Izod, who used a steam-moulding technique to improve his corsets' shape, performance and comfort.

Silk satin trimmed with machine lace
Given by Miss Benjamin
V&A: T.265&A-1960 [2011]

Materials

Satin; Silk; Silk braid; Coutil

Techniques

Woven; Steam moulded

Categories

Underwear; Marriage; Fashion; Women's clothes; Textiles; Accessories; Lace; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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