Corset

ca. 1890 (made)
Corset thumbnail 1
Corset thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Brown cotton twill corset with the bones covered with a darker cotton twill, black fabric covered busks and a trimming of black machine-made cotton lace. Lined with white cotton twill and the top and bottom are bound with reddish brown tape. The corset is made in two parts.

The front fastens with a busk and the backs are provided with metal eyelets for a lace. The corset is hip length, curving to a rounded point in the front and less deeply at the back. The bones are close-set and splayed out at the bust and hips, and at the tops are trimmed with fancy stitching in cream. There is a band of dark brown cording at the top, covering the breasts. At the waist there is a V-shaped band in darker brown stitching. The corset is machine-stitched. With metal fastenings.
alt tag here
watch Shaping the body: from corsets to bullet-bras Eleri Lynn, author of the V&A book 'Underwear: Fashion in Detail', tells the story of shape-wear: from the steel and whalebone engineering of Victorian and Edwardian corsetry, to the breast-flattening bandeau bras worn by 1920s flappers, the bullet-bras of the 1950s, the arrival of Lycra i...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Corset
  • Corset
Materials and Techniques
Cotton twill, machine-made cotton lace, lined with cotton twill, boned and metal
Brief Description
Brown cotton twill corset, possibly made in England or Germany, ca. 1890
Physical Description
Brown cotton twill corset with the bones covered with a darker cotton twill, black fabric covered busks and a trimming of black machine-made cotton lace. Lined with white cotton twill and the top and bottom are bound with reddish brown tape. The corset is made in two parts.



The front fastens with a busk and the backs are provided with metal eyelets for a lace. The corset is hip length, curving to a rounded point in the front and less deeply at the back. The bones are close-set and splayed out at the bust and hips, and at the tops are trimmed with fancy stitching in cream. There is a band of dark brown cording at the top, covering the breasts. At the waist there is a V-shaped band in darker brown stitching. The corset is machine-stitched. With metal fastenings.
Dimensions
  • Bust measured inside garment circumference: 71.5cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Waist measured inside garment circumference: 49cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Hip measured inside garment circumference: 69cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Front height: 41cm
  • Back height: 37.5cm
  • Underbust circumference: 54.4cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Nape waist length: 34cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
Marks and Inscriptions
'1927/46' (Inscribed in pencil, attached to the lining on the left side of the back on a red on white printed label.)
Gallery Label
  • During the 1890s, it was fashionable to be voluptuous at the bosom and hips, but small at the waist. Tight corsets aided this by displacing flesh from the waist to these areas. This corset has one of the smallest waist measurements in the collection of the V&A. Most surviving corsets show a generous or 'normal' waist measurement, suggesting that creating the right shape, not size, was the main purpose of corsetry. Corset Britain or Germany, about 1890 Cotton coutille with machine lace, whalebone, metal eyelets, and steel; lined with cotton twill Given by the family of Myer Yanovsky V&A: T.90&A-1984(2013-2015)
  • Tight lacing During the 1890s it was fashionable to have a small waist and a full bosom and hips. When this corset is laced tightly its waist measures just under 48 centimetres. Today the UK standard size 12 waist measures 71 centimetres. The 'belt' of dark brown cotton, which wraps the waist, was designed to reduce the risk of the whalebones breaking at this notorious stress point. Corset Germany or Britain, about 1890 Cotton, whalebone (baleen), metal busk and machine-made cotton lace trimming V&A: T.90&A-1984 Given by the family of Myer Yanovsky(16/04/2016-12/03/2017)
Credit line
Given by M. Yanovsky
Object history
John Goodwin, a descendant of Myer Yanovksy, owns Yanovsky's naturalisation certificate, dated 6 June 1904. According to Goodwin, Yanovsky would have been 52. The document states that he was a Russian subject, having been born at Yanova in Koons. Goodwin believes Yanovsky arrived in London around 1880. According to Ancestry, Yanovsky was born in about 1849 and died in September 1920 aged 71. His registration district was Whitechapel
Collection
Accession Number
T.90&A-1984

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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