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Caroline Reboux Shooting Stars Beaded Opera Cape

A Once in a Life Time find....

ON HOLD as of 7/21/2011.......Thank you so much to my new collector friend down under!
 
ASTRONOMICAL in it's Beauty...Exceptionally Rare.....Museum Quality, Antique Caroline Reboux silk velvet and steel beaded, late Victorian Opera cape with fabulous shooting stars or comets!   Circa 1890s and an extremely rare example of Caroline's Haute Couture outside of the realm of hats and millinery......Fully lined, with Reboux's black and gold Rue de la Paix, Paris label intact......Victorian French Haute Couture and Fabulous! 
 
Caroline Reboux is considered to be the finest milliner in history, and the first Haute Couture milliner.   She also designed hats in the Victorian Era to be shown with the collections of Charles Frederick Worth, among others.   She practiced her fashion arts from the 1870's to the late 1920's, her clients being the most wealthy and famous women in the world.   She is primarily known for her hats, and few realize that she also designed fabulous Haute Couture clothing as well.  Outside of a few pieces in French Textile museums, there are almost no garments of hers to be found today.  A Reboux hat is a rare prize in itself , but finding an actual gown or cape such as this is beyond the scope of most collections.  Her hats have been appraised for over $5,000.00, so imagine what a nice investment this is for your own collection! 
 
The cape is actually more of a capelet, a shorter length for evening wear.  Constructed of black silk velvet, (a Reboux favorite fabric), with a very frilly, curly black silk ribbon ruff collar.  Fully lined in what looks to be a charcoal silk broadcloth,  with 3 sturdy hook and eye closures in front.  Label reads Caroline Reboux,  23 Rue de la Paix, Paris.   The real standout feature is the stunning hand sewn, French cut steel beading in a pattern of shooting stars or comets that glitter like....well, like stars in the night!   There are also rows of charcoal hued glycerine sequins to add more drama, and more steel beaded florals and stylized designs. 
 
MEASUREMENTS:  The caplet measures  18" long from bottom of ruffled collar to hem, and the circumference is  108" around.
 
CONDITION:   GOOD to VERY GOOD.  This is an exceptionally rare antique garment, with a few mild age flaws and some missing beads, etc,  and the price is based on its rarity and beauty, and is not based solely on the condition.  If perfect, the price would be 5 times what it is.   The cape is very clean, with no soiling or odors, and was well stored.  The silk velvet is very good, no soiling or fading, dark even ink black color (darker than it looks here, as we lightened some of the photos to show the details)...velvet is light, very supple and buttery soft, no holes, no splits, no  tears and is not worn or fragile feeling.   Lining is very good to excellent, not shattered or torn, it is supple and soft, not dry, no holes, no wear, clean with no spots, or soiling or fading.   Hem is excellent,  no wear or snags or soiling.   The silk ruffled collar is lovely, silk is fresh, clean and supple, not faded or dry...a few pales the silk ribbon needs to be re-attached as it is a bit loose, but otherwise excellent.  No missing hooks and eyes and they are fairly securely sewn on.   Unfortunately, there is some beading missing, most noticed in the very bottom center back where it hides well in the folds of the cape.   It appears as if some of the bead there were possibly removed?  You can see this in the photos. While this is a flaw, when hung on the body it does not really show in the folds of the cape.  There are a few beads missing in other places, but overall there are still quite a lot left here as shown in the photos.    Actually, these antique French steel beads can easily be found today, and a restoration is certainly possible, as museum would do for their garments such as this.  There are a few of the sequins missing or loosening.   Overall, even with the flaws this is in good to very good shape and still a very rare antique couture garment that you will never find again.
 
 
PLEASE ASK IF YOU NEED MORE PHOTOS, CLOSE UPS, OR DETAILS PRIOR TO PLACING AN ORDER AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO COMPLY.
 
 
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