Cabinet Card: Girl in First Communion dress
Backmark: None. Front reads “Conrad Magnus Photo Artist Hoboken N.J.”
Date: c. 1900
Subject: Seated Girl, full length
Location: Hoboken, N.J.
Note: This is another period that I don’t know much about; ditto for first communion clothes. Feel free to help me out!
Dress: She wears a light dotted dress, it could be a silk or cotton. It is semi-sheer, and the dots may be printed in another light color. The skirt is ruched around her hips, and cut in a slight trumpet shape. The hem is accentuated with a tuck about 2″ in depth. If she were standing, the skirt would probably reach to her lower calf.
The bodice has a yoke that is pleated. Many dresses from this period had tucked (sewn-down pleats) yokes, but this one does not appear to have sewn pleats. The bodice is full at her front ribcage, which is characteristic of this period. There is a faux-berthe lace collar that spreads over her shoulders and helps give a smooth line to the fullness in the front bodice. The short standing collar is sheer and edged in lace. A woman’s collar from this period would have reached all the way to the top of the neck and been supported by small bones.
Note the hint of a bow at the nape of her neck.
The sleeves are full, ending in a band just below her elbow. There is lace tacked to the band, a sartorial remnant of the washable, detachable cuffs that women had been wearing for most of the 19th century.
Accessories: she wears long, white gloves with pin-tucks at the back of the hand. Note the bracelet worn over her left glove. There is also a tiny brooch at her throat.
Hair: Her hair is pulled up into a fashionable top-knot and finished with a ribbon and flowers. The flowers are probably specific to the occasion (her first communion? I am bad at judging ages. Maybe her confirmation.)