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Ornate black lace bodice with silk lining. The bodice has a high lace neck that extends down into a deep V in the front. The lace was lined with a sheer black crepe. The floral lace of the V is bordered by two rows of crocheted black needlework. The main body of the bodice is made of black netting with large black polka dots woven into the netting. From the shoulder to the breast, the netting is sewn into vertical overlapping layers. To the right and left sides of the front, there is a wide floral lace border, matching the V and neck, with a scalloped edge running from the waist hem up to the shoulder and down the back. The body of the bodice is lined underneath the netting with black silk. The elbow length sleeves are puffy at the shoulder and where they attach to the cuff. They are made with the same polka dotted netting as the body of the bodice and lined with black silk. The wide cuffs are made of the same floral black lace as the neck and V and are lined with black crepe. The outer edge of the cuffs have three layers of overlapping crepe sewn together for decoration. The bottom of the bodice comes to a point and all the layers are held together by a bend of black ribbon sewn abut 1 and a half inches above the bottom. The bottom edge is scalloped with netting. There is a black taffeta belt attached at the point of the front V. It has four lines of vertical gathers, one at the front, two at the sides, and one in the back. In between the gathers there are three or four horizontal pleats. The back of the neck closed with four hook and eye closures and the collar stood up straight with the assistance of four evenly spaced vertical boning strips. The back has the same polka dotted netting with a layer of crepe and then the silk lining as the front. There are seven hook and eye closures down the middle of the back for the lining and five for the netting and crepe. There are two cream colored arm shields made of a chamois cloth material. The back of the sleeve cuffs have three small decorative buttons covered in black silk. On the bottom band of black ribbon, on the back, there are two reinforced black loop on the left and one on the right for something to be attached. The belt closes in the back with four hook and eye closures. The back of the bodice has straight bottom hem, not a V like the front.
Original to Phillips House (Salem, Mass.),
15 6/16 (W) (inches)
Gift of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation