Formal wear is very conservative, with many features from formal day wear lingering on in formal wear (for example, tail coats for men was once good day wear, but by the 1840s it was basically relegated to very formal wear, which it still is today.) The deep pointed waist line and pleated berthe remained in fashion for formal evening wear for women for many decades after they fell out of fashion for day wear, but the straight, tight sleeves did not survive much past the 1840s even for evening wear with gauged skirts falling out of high fashion favor by the 1860s. Silk floral brocades also fell out of fashion by the late '50s. The sleeves are what really date the dress to the '40s though as they were the first of those features to change. It is a lovely dress isn't it?
BTW, the catalog for the auction is lovely. While I would have liked to see even more photos (call me greedy.
), it is still filled with excellent photos of all the really cool stuff and at least descriptions of all the items in the auction. A list of final sale prices was included which was pretty cool. It just arrived the other day and I've not had a chance to pour over it yet the way it deserves.
Glenna Jo Christen