I turned up at bang on 10:30 and was lead to the study room, to find the beautiful black corset with yellow corsing/quilting we all know and love laid out on the desk ready for me... My first reaction was not actually a positive one - I know my corsets and I know this one dates from 1875, one year too early for me to include as research. Unfortunately, allthough I had specified very clearly in my messages to the curator the specific dates I am looking at and why I am looking at them, he only provided me with 3 corsets within this timeframe, and these are all from 1880.
But looking on the brightside I did get very close to the corsets, and was able to handle them etc to check out major construction details. I took a pattern from one of the 1880s ones ( a dead cute black one with a 19" waist) which I am now writing about for Foundations Revealed.
Things I took note of:
All of the corsets used cording.
The eyelets looked the wrong way round to me, with the washers on the outside
There is a particular way the corsets rise at the last but one panel so that the back is much longer.
All of the Symingtons corsets were interlined with hessian (burlap to any Yanks reading this hehe) - I will be using this on my FR version of the corset.
I am uploading lots of pics to photobucket, but i took 119, so it will take a few months unfortunately :(
In other news, my friend Angharad Gamble has sent me two patterns she traced off from an 1882 edition of Harpers Baazar she is lucky enough to have, so I will take a look at those in comparison to the ones I looked at in Leicestershire.
I am also plannng a trip to Snibston Discover Center where a few of the Symington corsets are stored, as my burlesque lessons are in Caolville so it's on the way back anyway :)