My first inclination is that it's from the 1870s. I'm looking at the shoulders, primarily: the sleeve heads are very fitted, and have no hint of puff that makes me think of the 1880s. But is it meant to sit over a bustle? Here are some comparison shots. Tell me what you think.
|Over a mid-1870s bustle, side view.|
|Over a mid-1870s bustle, front view.|
|Over a mid-1870s bustle, back view.|
Small back pad.
|Over a small pad, side view.|
|Over a small pad, front view.|
|Over a small pad, back view.|
My conclusion: the back waist is starting to creep away from the mannequin's back. That will probably be mostly fixed when I've relined the whole thing. The front still bunches a bit at the waist.
|No padding, side view.|
|No padding, front view.|
|No padding, back view.|
The final word: I think I'm going to have to repair the lining before I can really get an idea how this bodice is supposed to sit. The mesh that makes up the exterior stretches, even though it's so heavily covered. In the meantime, though, all you Victorian mavens out there, drop me comment and tell me what you think!