Archive for December 5, 2008

CDV: French Woman, Seated

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, European, Silk Dresses, women with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
French Woman, Seated, c. 1858

CDV: French Woman, Seated, c. 1858

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1858

Subject: Seated Woman

Location: Unknown. Purchased in Paris, France.

Note: This is the same woman as in my previous post. Because of the strange quality of the image (it looks like it was cut away from a green-screen) and the mid-to-late 1850s styles, I think it may be a print taken from an earlier glass-plate image.

This woman wears a plain silk taffeta dress with wide velvet ribbon trim.  The bodice closes at center front with hooks and eyes and is darted to fit.  Her sleeves are fitted at the armscye and flare out wide at the cuff, a style sometimes known as a “pagoda sleeve.”  There appears the be a narrow cap at the armscye.  Caps are usually unlined pieces of dress fabric, and are used to extend the visual line of the shoulder.

Her skirt has two visible flounces; there may be a third at the bottom that we cannot see in the photograph.  Flounces were often applied to a base skirt by running a cord through a channel at the top of each flounce, gathering to fit, and then top-stitching on.

She wears white undersleeves basted into her dress and a 1.5″ wide white collar, which shows just a hint of embroidery.  A dark spot at center front and neck indicates that she might be wearing a brooch there.

Her hair is parted in the center, and combed smooth down over her temples, rolled towards the face, and then back into a coil at the nape of her neck. The  slight waves at her temples are probably natural.

Her only visible jewelry is an earring, and that is  difficult to make out.


CDV: French Woman

Posted in 1860s, CDV, decorated hairnets, European, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
French Woman, c. 1860

CDV: French Woman, c. 1860

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Unknown. Purchased in Paris, France.

Note: I only assume this is a frenchwoman because I bought the CDV in Paris.  Nothing about her dress looks particularly French to me.

This woman wears a one-piece dress composed of a bodice and skirt, made of what is probably a heavy silk or silk/wool mix.
The bodice is darted to fit, with a pleat from shoulder to bustline.  Whether this pleat was incorporated into the shoulder seam or happened naturally is unclear, but this particular shoulder-to-bust pleat was popular from the 1840s through the 60s.  It gave an attractive, crisp line from shoulder to bust, and emphasized the hourglass shape.

The sleeves are fitted at the armscye, and open up wide at the wrist.  This shape sleeve was common in the late 1850s and early 60s, and older women wore it throughout the decade.  Modern costume historians sometimes call this a “modified pagoda”

The skirt is full and worn over a cage crinoline.

Her dress is trimmed on the bodice and sleeves with bars, probably made of a flat tape.  A white collar, undersleeves, and brooch at the neck complete the look.

She wears her hair center parted and rolled in soft puffs towards her face.  Her hair is coiled relatively high, i.e. no lower than her hairline, which indicates either an early photograph date (closer to 1859 than the mid 60s), or that she is an older woman slightly behind the current fashions.  She completes the look with a decorated hairnet with a tassel (or feather or clump of ribbons, the photograph is unclear).