Antique Victorian Wrapper Brown Calico Ca 1885 Early Tea Gown

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We are so pleased to be able to offer this wonderful original antique Victorian wrapper that dates circa 1885, and from my research I believe it could be considered an early tea gown.

It is made of sturdy brown calico with cream colored circles printed, with plain muslin lining the bodice. It is nearly all machine sewn with the exception of the yoke ruffle and the buttonholes. The construction is very interesting and quite different from other Victorian wrappers that I’ve seen.

The bodice, in front, only comes to about the waistline and is not attached. Only the center front portion of the bodice is made of the fashion fabric. The yoke is then formed by gathering the top of long panels and attaching them, horizontally, at the upper bust level. The yoke portion of the bodice shows the upper two hexagonal shaped abalone shell buttons. The remaining 5 buttons are unseen (covered by the yoke panels) on the fashion fabric of the bodice and therefore, are functional but not necessarily “pretty”. The gathered panels drop loosely to the hemline and are sewn together at the center front slightly below the waistline. Large black snaps have been added to this area but are not original to the wrapper. The back of the wrapper has princess seams and at center back, there is a deep, inverted pleat where an additional panel of fabric is added on the interior, tacked to the waistband, to allow for a small bustle. The collar, cuffs, and separate tie belt are all made of the same fashion fabric.

The bishop sleeves are gathered neatly at the shoulder and the cuffs each fasten with a single hexagonal shaped abalone button. The interior bodice is not especially fitted. Not only would this be practical for the lady’s light morning chores, but it would serve nicely for maternity wear. There is minor discoloration on the lining only in the underarm area, otherwise there are no obvious stains or fading. There are no holes, but there are 3 “nips” on the edge of the left side collar. I’ve looked at them with a jeweler’s loupe and I’m not really sure what they are – possibly tiny holes with period repairs? There is something similar on the left front side at the waistline – this looks more like a line of catches. Neither is particularly obvious and does not detract from this fabulous historical garment.


None – this is an original authentic Victorian handmade antique dress


Probably wool challis or possibly cotton.  It has not been tested.



How We Measure Our Garments


  • Bust -- 39”
  • Waist – 42”
  • Hips – Open
  • Shoulders – 14 ¼”
  • Sleeve Length – 26”
  • Length – 49” (front – top of shoulder seam to bottom of hem) 51” (back – center of neckline to bottom of hem)


This is an antique dress. Due to the fragile nature of antique dresses, we cannot accept returns on this dress.