Ribbed bustle cage, early 1880s
A bustle cage in good condition is difficult to find. This one consists of a short petticoat attached to a back bustle extension shaped with steel rods. The bustle cage is fashioned from heavy cotton twill and closes in front with three glass buttons.
The shape and size of the bustle cage can be adjusted on the inside with lacing and buckles—see the three bottom pictures. The petticoat style helps keep the bustle positioned in back, where it should be.
At the end of the 1880s, the bustle was reduced in size, allowing the formal dress to change to a simpler style. Nevertheless, vestiges of the bustle remained at the rear of the skirt, although the extreme bustle style was gone forever.http://vintagetextile.com/new_page_691.htm