Seriously? These are amazing. Look at the phenomenal engineering that went into these! Aside from being the duck-billed platypus of the stays universe, they are just plain intriguing. This was someone's Guggenheim. Or at least their Bat Utility Belt. Every square inch is dedicated to an element of function or support. (Boo to the cross-lacing though.)
Sorry, but I can't remember the date range that the Met ascribed to them. I assumed that they are rather late 18th century, maybe in the 1780's-90's?, but I have no clue. Shame on me for not saving pertinent information along with my costume porn.
I wrote a particularly eloquent email to the good folks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding the new costume search function. I know, I know. But sometimes, when I'm up in the middle of the night roaming the house for proof of my own existence, nothing will do except to rant at faceless institutions. Sort of like Matlock did in every episode, but through the power of the internet instead. I expected to be ignored because they are the frikkin' MET.(And because my email address pretty much lands me in the Spam folder everytime.)
But then they went all weird and actually ANSWERED my email! Like I'm a PEOPLE or something! I have been celebrating in a quiet way all week. For those who yearn to know the sordid details: I was reassured in the strongest tones that I am, in fact, the only person who has had difficulty finding what they are looking for whilst using the new search function. Furthermore, a child could use it. Better still, a monkey's child could use it. (I am making most of this last bit up.) But the respondent helpfully provided directions on using it properly which worked about as well for him as it did for me. He suggested after a less-than-awesome demonstration that they were still "working out the kinks."