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  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1835 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, reinforced with whalebone and cording, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Elizabeth Norton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA3, shelf FIG1

This ensemble illustrates the items of underwear that women wore in the 1830s. The shift had been an essential element of underwear for centuries and remained so in the 19th century. At that time it was more politely referred to by its French name, chemise. When the sheer fabrics and rather clinging styles of Neo-classical dress became fashionable in the 1790s, drawers were introduced into the female wardrobe for the sake of modesty. They continued to be worn when 19th century dresses evolved into more substantial styles. The corset is lightly boned and reinforced with cording. There is a long narrow pocket in the front for the busk, a wide piece of wood or ivory, which kept the corset stiff and flat in front.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


ca. 1835 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cotton, reinforced with whalebone and cording, hand-sewn


Height: 37 cm Front, top to bottom edges, Circumference: 75 cm circumference of bust, Circumference: 59.5 cm circimference of waist


Clothing; Underwear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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