Antique & Vintage Dress Gallery








#6303 - c. 1893 RARE Mrs. William Astor's Sage Green Silk and Brocade Trained Gown with Beaded Sleeves and Trim! Museum De-accession with Tags!  One Piece!  Very Large Size!  Possibly a Worth Gown!  Let's start by reviewing WHO owned this gown!  Here's some reading for you... most of this re:  a ball in 1892:  "For many years the acknowledged matron of New York and Newport society, Mrs. William Astor (Caroline Schermerhorn Astor - 1830-1908) invites 400 guests to a grand ball at her Fifth Avenue mansion thus beginning use of the "400" to describe the socially elite. It was the largest and most elaborate private ball given this 1892 season... on no occasion this season have there been so many magnificent gowns and such a superb collection of diamonds.  The Astor residence is the largest in NY."  In addition to their New York City Fifth Ave. mansion, the Astors purchased the "Beechwood" mansion in Newport, Rhode Island in 1881 and oversaw a $2 million renovation to make it the center of Newport social life during the eight-week summer seasons.  OK... got all that?  Now... there is also a famous portrait of Mrs. Astor painted in 1890 (see photo) and it is thought that she is wearing a Worth gown... so... I have no idea what the original label of this gown was, but with the pedigree.... I expect it was perhaps a Worth.  You can see from the portrait that Mrs. Astor was not a slim woman which matches the measurements of this gown!  Measures: 44" bust, 35" waist, 43" long in front from waist to hem, 64" long trained in back.  Now here comes the sad news... the condition is Good, not Excellent. The entire interior silk is shot, so there is no petersham, hence no label.  The exterior is pretty good, the green silk and embroidery still in very strong condition with hard-to-see dark minor dirt, but the black beading on the black netting over the satin sleeves, and trim beading has browned threads so some of the beads have been lost. It's really the interior that is such a mess.  So you are purchasing a gown owned by the wealthiest dame of her time.... presumed to be Worth gown in so-so condition (at least for my high standards!).  If perfect, it's $10,000+!

SOLD - but on display in Museum Category for Research/Display