1911, The Lady Claire Dress Form, Very Rare For Sale
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1911, The Lady Claire Dress Form, Very Rare


I've had an example of this dress form in my personal collection. It's an amazing piece of engineering and one of my favorite items... something I decided to never sell it. The Lady Claire has been on the top of my search list for years and we finally found a second example. There is nothing else out there like it. Some History... It should have been the dress form to end all dress forms. It was well built and completely adjustable. With it dress makers wouldn't have needed to have several dress forms at their disposal in order to accommodate the multitude of shapes and sizes of the female form. They would need just one, The Lady Claire. The dress form was invented by John Rae of Philadelphia, PA. He patented it in 1911 (patent no.991,241) and assigned it to the Kearns Manufacturing Company for the purpose of manufacturing it. The company was located in Philadelphia though it was incorporated in Delaware. Also, a separate company was created in 1912 to handle the actual sales of the dress form. The sales company was aptly named The Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Company which was incorporated in New York. John Kearns (owner of the Kearns Mfg. Co.) was named as one of its directors. The Lady Claire was constructed of wire and steel without any soldering at the joints. The front shoulder/ neck plate reads "The Lady Claire, Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Co., Patented 1911, New York." The dress form could be adjusted for a short woman or tall, slender figure or full, sloping shoulders or square, small chest or large, narrow hips or wide, thin neck or thick and every other shape in between. It rolled around on four solid casters so it could easily be moved around. The design was thoroughly revolutionary. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to me as to why, The Lady Claire was a commercial flop. It was advertised for just 2-3 short years and then it disappeared. Though The Perfect Adjustable Dress Form Company was on the books at least through 1917, there is no evidence suggesting any serious attempts to market the dress form past 1913.


  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 60 in. x Dm 20 in.H 152.4 cm x Dm 50.8 cm
  • Diameter
    20 in. (50.8 cm)
  • Seller Location
    Peekskill, NY
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

4.9 / 5
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2009
Located in Peekskill, NY
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