CDV: French Woman, Seated

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.

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