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Lace Sleeve
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Title: Lace Sleeve
Identifier: 980.9.25
Donor: Mrs. Rheta Conn, Apr. 13, 1980
Item Date: 1880-1890
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Black lace sleeve - fits closely around arm ending in a wide frill (10cm) below the elbow. Black fancy cord work covers the seam between the sleeve and frill. Top edge of sleeve is finished with .5 cm of blue ribbon. Outer edge of sleeve (from shoulder to frill) has five 6 cm long open slits which would separate slightly when worn to reveal skin, or an undersleeve, beneath. A second sleeve of the same description is accessioned under 980.9.20.

Through Mrs. Edith Starink, ROM Textile Dept.

Victorian women could emphasize modesty in their dress by wearing freshly laundered detachable white collars and false half-sleeves or undersleeves called engageantes. Both were often made of delicate whitework and gave an air of refinement and daintiness. To balance the effect of the cage crinoline, sleeves were like large bells too and sometimes had open splits allowing for lavish decorative sleeve hemlines and detachable false undersleeves (engageantes). Engageantes were often made from fine lace, linen, lawn, cambric or Broderie Anglaise and were easy to remove, launder and re-stitch into position. REF: http://www.fashion-era.com/early_victorian_fashion.html visited Aug. 8, 2007.
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