Wire Bustle Cage

Brief Item Record

Title: Wire Bustle Cage

Creator: Unknown American Inventor

Date: 1871

Description: Bustle (cage), of natural cotton muslin and twill tapes and metal wire bands: half-cylinder shape, with metal bands horizontally forming shape, suspended from vertical tapes; waistband of tape with adjustable buckle and hanging tabs; flat back of muslin, open down CB with grommets for laced closure; tape tabs hanging from lowest band of metal. A label is printed on the inside of the waistband. The first part is illegible, but the remainder reads: 1868. REISSUE, MAR. 28, 1871. PAT'D APR. 18, 1871.; Bustle (cage), of natural cotton muslin and twill tapes and metal wire bands: half-cylinder shape, with metal bands horizontally forming shape, suspended from vertical tapes; waistband of tape with adjustable buckle and hanging tabs; flat back of muslin, open down CB with grommets for laced closure; tape tabs hanging from lowest band of metal.

Full Item Record

Dublin Core

Identifier

VC1992158

Title

Wire Bustle Cage

Description

Bustle (cage), of natural cotton muslin and twill tapes and metal wire bands: half-cylinder shape, with metal bands horizontally forming shape, suspended from vertical tapes; waistband of tape with adjustable buckle and hanging tabs; flat back of muslin, open down CB with grommets for laced closure; tape tabs hanging from lowest band of metal. A label is printed on the inside of the waistband. The first part is illegible, but the remainder reads: 1868. REISSUE, MAR. 28, 1871. PAT'D APR. 18, 1871.; Bustle (cage), of natural cotton muslin and twill tapes and metal wire bands: half-cylinder shape, with metal bands horizontally forming shape, suspended from vertical tapes; waistband of tape with adjustable buckle and hanging tabs; flat back of muslin, open down CB with grommets for laced closure; tape tabs hanging from lowest band of metal.

Date

1871

Subject

Clothing and dress

Extent

21-29 inches (waist), 12.5 inches (center back length), other measurements: width at bottom= 7 1/2 inches (13 1/3 when flat); depth = 4 1/2 inches

Medium

Type

Physical Object

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Rights Holder

© Vassar College Costume Collection. Images in this collection may be used for teaching, classroom presentation, and research purposes only. For other reuse, reproduction and publication of these images, contact costumeshop@vassar.edu.

Costume Item Type Metadata

Cataloguer with Date

Arden Kirkland 12/09/1992

Waist

21-29

Center Back Length

12.5

Measurements Other

width at bottom= 7 1/2 inches (13 1/3 when flat); depth = 4 1/2 inches

All Measurements

21-29 inches (waist), 12.5 inches (center back length), other measurements: width at bottom= 7 1/2 inches (13 1/3 when flat); depth = 4 1/2 inches

Label

(illegible) 1868. REISSUE, MAR. 28, 187N. PAT'D APR. 18, 1871.

References

Batterberry, 247

Date Earliest

1871

Date Latest

1871

Culture

Gender

Classification

costume
clothing

Category

Function

Exhibitions

Vassar Girls and Other Women

Public Information

By the 1880's, the ideal feminine form had changed to a more slender, vertical shape, with the fullness of the skirt moved to the back and further elaborated by the hidden structures of bustle pads and cages such as 1992.158, 1992.159, and 1992.160. Legs were still completely hidden by a full length skirt wrapped and draped around the legs (unable to swing as the crinoline did). The following account of an early Vassar student reflects the extent to which modesty concerning one's legs was still an issue:
'The chairs on the platform were awfully high, my skirts were starched exceedingly stiff, and I had a terrible consciousness that I was displaying more than the tips of my slippers. I couldn't make any change of position then so I didn't stir while the President made his opening prayer. Then came my show... …I got back to my seat safely, my train behaving like an angel and never turning ovcr or under once during the whole evening, but when I sat down my dress would not stay down, so I finally grew hardened and concluded to appear as if that were the way I 'always came down stairs.' To relieve your shocked feelings I will comfort you as the girls afterwards comforted me with assurances that there was nothing objectionable in view from even the nearest part of the audience.' (letter from Mary S. Morris to Mithery on May 20,1880).

Condition Term

very good

Condition Description

some fraying of attached tapes.

Storage Location

A1

Exhibition Notes

By the 1880's, the ideal feminine form had changed to a more slender, vertical shape, with the fullness of the skirt moved to the back and further elaborated by the hidden structures of bustle pads and cages such as 1992.158, 1992.159, and 1992.160. Legs were still completely hidden by a full length skirt wrapped and draped around the legs (unable to swing as the crinoline did). The following account of an early Vassar student reflects the extent to which modesty concerning one's legs was still an issue: '
The chairs on the platform were awfully high, my skirts were starched exceedingly stiff, and I had a terrible consciousness that I was displaying more than the tips of my slippers. I couldn't make any change of position then so I didn't stir while the President made his opening prayer. Then came my show... …I got back to my seat safely, my train behaving like an angel and never turning over or under once during the whole evening, but when I sat down my dress would not stay down, so I finally grew hardened and concluded to appear as if that were the way I 'always came down stairs.' To relieve your shocked feelings I will comfort you as the girls afterwards comforted me with assurances that there was nothing objectionable in view from even the nearest part of the audience.' (letter from Mary S. Morris to Mithery on May 20,1880).

Work Type

Citation

Unknown American Inventor, “Wire Bustle Cage,” Vassar College Costume Collection, accessed May 29, 2024, https://vccc.vassarspaces.net/items/show/830.