Sequined black lace evening coat, ca. 1900. Floral net lace embellished with black sequins, having over-capelet and butterfly sleeve, decorated with large, faceted paillettes and chenille tassels with jet beads, trimmed with pleated black tulle ruffles, cream taffeta lining with interior fan pocket and ruched chiffon along seams. FIDM inventory noted "Coat attributed to Yvette Guilbert". Very good condition. Some clouding to jet beads, bead losses, broken paillette, one chenille tassel missing on sleeve, few small faded spots on capelet. The decoration is not included. Very rare.
Yvette Guilbert (French pronunciation: [ivɛt gilbɛʁ]; 20 January 1865 – 3 February 1944) was a French cabaret singer and actress of the Belle Époque. Born in Paris into a poor family as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, Guilbert began singing as a child but at age sixteen worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was discovered by a journalist. She took acting and diction lessons, which enabled her in 1886 to appear on stage at several smaller venues. Guilbert debuted at the Variette Theatre in 1888. She eventually sang at the popular Eldorado club, then at the Jardin de Paris before headlining in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. In 1895 she married Dr. M. Schiller. Guilbert made successful tours of England and Germany, and the United States in 1895–1896. She performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Even in her fifties, her name still had drawing power and she appeared in several silent films (including a star turn in F. W. Murnau's Faust). She also appeared in talkies, including a role with friend, Sacha Guitry. Her recordings for La Voix de son maître include the famous "Le Fiacre" as well as some of her own compositions such as "Madame Arthur". She accompanied herself on piano for some numbers. She once gave a performance for the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, at a private party on the French Riviera. Hostesses vied to have her at their parties.
Provenance: Helen Larson Collection. Helen Larson was a collector based in Whittier, California. She owned a successful film costume rental business and amassed a world-renowned private collection of historic fashion. She was a brilliant connoisseur and historian.
Bust: ~ 85 cm
Front Length: ~ 150 cm
Back Length: ~ 168 cm