Early 19th-Century Dress with Colonial Fabric

Value (2013) | $600 Retail$800 Retail
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GUEST:
Well, I'm told it's Colonial. The only provenance I have dates it back to 1876 in the Philadelphia Exposition, where it was worn in the Connecticut pavilion in a Colonial tableau. And I ended up with it, inherited from my aunt about a year ago.

APPRAISER:
I like the dress. The fabric is really wonderful. Actually, the fabric dates late 1700s.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The fabric is from the period, however, the style of the dress is not from that period. This lace right here is actually current, like from the 1970s or '80s, in polyester.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
And all of that needs to come off. Because the dress is wonderful. See these great leg o' mutton sleeves here? The first time that this was really hot was 1820s. The style of this dress is basically 1825 to '28. And so, as a dress, it's been around for almost 200 years now.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Anyway, it's not unusual for people to use fabric that was older to create. Fabric was a premium at this particular time in American history. It was even in your will. If you had good fabric, it was listed in your will as something you passed down. Valuewise, in the condition that it is in, is $600 to $800.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
But properly conserved, you could raise the price to $1,200 to $1,500 in today's market. Because the alterations that have been done can be corrected.

GUEST:
You could almost say the material is colonial, but the dress isn't.

APPRAISER:
Yes, the dress isn't. (laughs)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
The Cat's Meow
Midland, TX
Appraised value (2013)
$600 Retail$800 Retail
Event
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)
Period
19th Century
Form
Dress
Material
Cloth

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