Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sleeve supports

American or European
Credit Line:
Gift of Miss Jessie Rosenfeld, 1943
Accession Number:
C.I.43.40.59a, b
Not on view
The inflated sleeves of the 1830s and the 1890s were augmented by a variety of supports, either worn as underpinnings or incorporated into the structure of the sleeves themselves. Sleeve supports were frequently down-filled pillows, but chintz with ribs of wire or cane was also used to make somewhat airier lantern-like forms. Although impressive in mass, the earlier sleeve puffs did not disrupt the line of the shoulder. Instead, because they were poised so precariously on the upper arm, the sleeve's outline simply continued in a descending line from the shoulder. It was only in the 1890s that giant puffed sleeves obtruded above the line of the newly squared shoulder.
Related Objects

Wedding ensemble

Date: 1864 Medium: cotton Accession: 26.250.2a–e On view in:Not on view

Afternoon dress

Date: ca. 1855 Medium: cotton Accession: 1977.304.1 On view in:Not on view


Date: ca. 1882 Medium: a, b) cotton Accession: 2003.338a, b On view in:Not on view

Evening dress

Date: 1804–5 Medium: cotton Accession: 1983.6.1 On view in:Not on view


Date: ca. 1872 Medium: a) cotton, porcelain; b) cotton Accession: 2003.426a, b On view in:Not on view