Linen duster cape, c.1900
The first automobile, invented in 1885 by Karl Benz, was an open carriage. Even when an auto had a top to keep off the rain, there was little to prevent dust from dirt roads from settling on the occupants' clothing. Our duster cape offered a protective cover.
The cape is fashioned from unlined brown linen. It is sleeveless under the outer cape collar. I love the scalloped edges on the collar, pockets, and outer cape. The self-covered buttons in the front and on the pockets are miraculously all there.
The cape is an important historical artifact. It displays beautifully.
The condition is very good. The cape is all original and has no structural damage, but there are areas of discoloration, especially along the hem. The brown dye from the period is bit unstable; most pieces dyed with it have some discoloration.
It measures: 44" chest, 64" hip, 17" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, and 50" from the shoulder to the front hem.