c.1885-1895. A black sateen corsetwaist made by Gage- Downs (often abbreviated to GD).
Corsetwaists were hailed as a healthier alternative to a traditional boned corset. They often had high busts with shoulder straps to support the breasts and back and could either
have a traditional busk front closure or buttons. Corsetwaists relied more on cording than
figure support. They were popular amongst working class women as they gave a contemporary figure yet gave more freedom of movement and support than a regular corset. They were fairly inexpensive yet were well made.
This particular corset was most likely worn by poorer or working class woman as seen by the
multiple repairs, darns and patches used to prolong it's life.
This model has a pleated bust with an inner slot which accommodated different breast sizes and allowed for slight padding for figure enhancement. The shoulder
straps pin on at the front, original period pins are still in place on this corsetwaist.
It is fully corded with the exception of the front fastening busk and watchspring stays
on both sides of the grommet holes for support. This corset originally had side steels
but Gage- Downs gave wearers the option of removing these either temporarily for washing or
permanently for comfort by adding a button- style hole at the top of each side steel's bone casing. The curved busk is backed with an equally curved watchspring busk protector to prevent it from snapping in two from use.
Measurements: Bust 34", Waist 22", Hips 30", Busk length 12".
From the collection of L. Hidic