Market Lavington Museum

A taffeta bodice

Amongst the collection of period garments at Market Lavington Museum, we have a mauve taffeta bodice.

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It had belonged to Esther Duck, the sister of John Duck, the headmaster of the boy’s school in Market Lavington. (See Ducks in the Churchyard and Mr Duck’s class of the 1890s for more information about John Duck.) Esther had worn the bodice as part of a wedding outfit.

The covered buttons on the front were for decoration only, as the bodice was fastened with hooks and eyes.

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Interestingly, although the taffeta has been lined, each section was lined individually before assembling the garment, so the seams are all on view.

There is a small peplum at the back.

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We are fortunate to be able to see the actual garments worn locally in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries for, if we relied on photographic evidence, we would only see them in black andwhite.