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Of the many underlayers that 18th century women wore, the corset provided the structure for the graceful posture and quality of deportment required for ladies of the time. Probably the oldest corset in the collection, this example illustrates the upright shape of the back necessary to give the 18th century woman the desired stance. The rigid V-shaped flat front formed a base for the decorative stomacher, another essential part of a lady's wardrobe. Corsets during this time were worn under the bust, pushing the breasts up in a seductive and feminine fashion.

Corset, linen, cotton, whalebone, American

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