This would have been worn under a heavier dress, redingote or a riding habit, when you would have need a male looking high neck. The cutaway front would have allowed you flexibility when you were moving your arms, playing archery, or other country pursuits. The gap front would also mean that the front would not ride up but would remain neat in place under the outer bodice. The buttoning is masculine, left over right, indicating this was worn for outside sporting wear. Although the back appears to be trained I think most of this would have been taken up with the little bustle which would have been worn.
slightly trained, of fine white cotton with high neck 3 in; 7 cm trimmed with 3/4 in; 2 cm simple hand made Lille bobbin lace, front opening with six Dorset buttons, the fall front gathered with tape, the back bodice with almost diamond seaming, well inset shoulders and very long tapering sleeves, the cuffs with an embroidered narrow band, fullish skirt, the inside bodice linen lined and with linen bust coverings, collar to hem at back 53 in; 1.35 m; high waist 26 in; 66 cm; bodice back 6 1/2 in.16 cm, skirt circ 71 in; 1.8 m
In excellent condition apart from a very small 1/10 in; Also small black markings to top left. I feel sure a conservator could remove this. The back has an orange dot, and another little mark same colour, presumably rust. Also small pin head hole close by. The top button is mishapen to an oval. I am not sure whether the drawstring tape is original.
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2016