Jessica's Costume History Page
E-Bay Auction Report
As both an e-bay enthusiast and a fan of vintage corsets, Iíve been tracking the sale of antique corsets over e-bay for some time now. One thing Iíve noticed is how many bogus ďVictorian corsetsĒ there actually are out there. There is a surprising number of items with such a label, that are merely girdles dating no further back than the late 40's. But there are also some reals finds out there as well. Most of these finds, (that are generally post-civil war to Edwardian period corsets, the better ones with minimal discoloration and the original laces still intact), will sell for anything to $150 to $500. Then there are the mediocre deals, where the items are genuinely Victorian but the damage is so bad they would have to be put under glass to ever be viewed. These sell from around $50 to $200.
Much can be learned by tracking these auctions. I once stumbled across a corset whose shape and design dated it back to the 1860's but it was entirely made out of a mesh-type fabric. The sellerís hypotheses was that it was fro the deep south where summer heat and humidity made it necessary to use lighter, more breathable fabrics in corsetry. E-bay is a wonderful opportunity to study vintage items because you are usually presented with a detailed description and several photos of the item up for auction. Iíve never yet used it to actually buy an item, since I live in Alaska and donít have immediate access to any textile museums, I prefer it as my online museum where I can study, research and document actual items of the past.