Woman's stays

Woman's corset


Place of Use: Lexington, Massachusetts, United States; Place of Manufacture: probably Massachusetts, United States


Overall (closed): 41.9 x 40 cm (16 1/2 x 15 3/4 in.) Overall (open): 41.9 x 63.5 cm (16 1/2 x 25 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton satin with cotton twill binding and silk thread

Not On View


Americas, Textiles and Fashion Arts



White stays, wide center casing for busk with two button-stitched holes at bottom, straps fall over sholders and lace to front, bones at sides of bust, sewn-in cords throughout (especially concentrated in front at bust and waist), gores in front below waist, twelve pairs of lace-holes at back, openings in casings for bones to support edges, back, and sides visible inside


Written in ink inside center at bottom: "C. R. S. No. 3/ I have been instrumental/ in bringing thousands of the fair sex to an untimely/ graves Stays" (presumably written by Caira Robbins)


Worn by donor's great-aunt Caira Robbins (1794-1881); Inherited by Ellen A. Stone; Gift to MFA, 1899

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Ellen A. Stone