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Not currently on display at the V&A

Stays

1770s (made), 1780s (altered)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Woman’s stays made of unbleached linen and baleen, the boning channels about 3/16-inch (4 mm) wide. They are lined with unbleached linen. The seams are covered with ⅜-inch (8 mm) wide linen tape and the edges of the skirts are bound with white leather.

The stays were probably made in the 1770s and X-ray images reveal that they were originally back opening. They were altered, probably in the 1780s to accommodate a shorter waistline and possibly for another wearer. They were cut down from the top, opened at the front where narrow panels were added, with 8 worked eyelets on the right side and 7 on the left. The top edge and armholes were rebound with white leather.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, baleen, leather; hand-woven, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Woman's stays, probably 1770s, British; Unbleached linen, baleen, edged with leather, front-opening, altered 1780s
Physical Description
Woman’s stays made of unbleached linen and baleen, the boning channels about 3/16-inch (4 mm) wide. They are lined with unbleached linen. The seams are covered with ⅜-inch (8 mm) wide linen tape and the edges of the skirts are bound with white leather.



The stays were probably made in the 1770s and X-ray images reveal that they were originally back opening. They were altered, probably in the 1780s to accommodate a shorter waistline and possibly for another wearer. They were cut down from the top, opened at the front where narrow panels were added, with 8 worked eyelets on the right side and 7 on the left. The top edge and armholes were rebound with white leather.

Dimensions
  • Overall length: 43.5cm (approx)
  • Bust under armholes circumference: 81.7cm (approx)
Credit line
Given by Messrs. Harrods
Object history
Part of a large collection of costume items (T.391 to 1833-1913) given to the V&A by the London department store Harrods. "The greater part of the collection had been formed by Mr Talbot Hughes supplemented by more than 100 pieces which came into the market at the same time, and they were all bought en bloc by Messrs. Harrods, together with several further examples which came under Mr Hughes' notice. The whole collection was on view for 3 weeks in Messrs. Harrods' stores during the Christmas season, 1913." (from the original 1913 acquisition register)
Collection
Accession Number
T.911-1913

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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