Archive for the Silk Dresses Category

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Silk Dresses, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, c. 1860-62

Large Woman in Silk Dress, backmark

CDV: Large Woman in Silk Dress, backmark

Backmark: “P. Rosenaker, Photographer, No. 51 Third Avenue, N.Y.

Date: c. 1860-62

Subject: Woman Standing

Location: New York, NY

Dress: One piece, attached bodice and skirt with “pagoda” style sleeves. Silk, plain weave. Opens up center front with concealed hooks and eyes. Bodice is dart-fitted; darts are very high and from the slight puckers at bust level, it appears that they let out (i.e. are not sewn to the tip of the dart) The bodice is poorly fitted, note the horizontal wrinkles caused by being too long and too narrow for her corseted torso.

Sleeves are trimmed with ribbon or ruching along the cuff and up to the armscye. Decorative buttons up front placket.

The skirt is attached to the bodice with knife pleats (possibly gathers, it is not clear). The skirt ends about 4-6″ from the floor in front and is bound at the hem with wool braid. Note how narrow the skirt is in relation to the cage crinoline supporting it.

Her collar is about 3″ wide, which indicates an earlier date (1850s) but she may simply have been out of fashion. Her hair is in a style typical of the early 1860s. She also wears undersleeves and a brooch at center front/neck and earrings.

Hair: Center parted, combed down behind her ears. Bound rather low on the nape of her neck in a coil.

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Great Hair, Silk Dresses, watches, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman, 1860s

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s

Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Cabinet Card: Woman, 1860s, Backmark

Backmark: “S. Piper, 864 Elm St., Manchester, N.H.”

Date: Original image c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Manchester, N.H.

Note: The style of dress in this photo predates the invention of the Cabinet Card, so I believe that this is a reprint of an older photograph.

Dress: This woman wears a one-piece dress, attached skirt and bodice, of silk.  The fabric appears to be solid-coloured.  Her bodice is darted fitted, opens up center front with concealed hooks and eyes, and decorated with a row of ornamental buttons

Her sleeves, while not completely out of style in the late 1850s and early 1860s, were certainly unusual for the time.  They are probably made in two parts- the top section sewn onto a tight lower section.  I am not aware of a specific name for this cut of sleeve, either period or modern.  Gigot or leg’o’mutton always seemed to me to most accurately describe the one-piece sleeves that are puffed at the top and narrow at the cuff (after all, a leg of lamb is in one piece!).  At first glance this woman’s sleeve resembles the gigot, but I think the shape is different enough that it deserves another name.

Her full skirt is worn over a wide hoop or cage crinoline.  The skirt is knife-pleated into the waist, with the pleats facing towards center front.  Her skirt is trimmed in several horizontal bands.  I can’t tell exactly what the trimming is, but a good possibility is that it is rows of self-fabric ruched up the center to from two puffs, and outlined top and bottom with velvet ribbon.

She wears a watch fob suspended from her belt- the watch is tucked into a small, vertical watch-pocket.  The majority of watch-pockets that I have seen on original garments are horizontal and on the left side of the dress (PL), but vertical pockets do show up occasionally.

Her dress is finished with narrow, flat white collar, pinned at the throat with a brooch.

Hair:  Instead of trying to tame naturally curly hair into the smooth hairstyles popular during the mid-victorian period, many curly-headed women preferred to wear them in controlled ringlets.  We would call them “banana curls.”  This woman conforms to the style of the period by center-parting her hair, oiling it, and setting it into uniform ringlets.

CDV: Woman in Plain Silk

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Silk Dresses, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman in Plain Silk, c. 1860

CDV: Woman in Plain Silk, c. 1860

Woman in Plain Silk, backmark

CDV: Woman in Plain Silk, backmark

Backmark: I. G. Owen Newton, N.J. “Negatives Preserved” Additional Copies from the plate from which this picture is taken can be had at any time if desired.

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Newton, New Jersey

Note: This CDV is from the same photography establishment as Kate E. Perry.

Dress: One piece dress composed of bodice and attached skirt.  Most likely silk, with a hint of a woven figure on the chest, although it is difficult to tell if this is an actual jacquard from the photograph.  Numbers of original garments show that delicately figured, single-color silks were common in the early 1860s.

The bodice is darted and closes at center front with hidden hooks and eyes.  Her sleeves are modified pagoda.  Notice how short they are in relation to her wrist.  Sleeve lengths from this period range from over the wrist to nearly at the elbow (though the latter seems to have been mostly a result of remaking old dresses and not having enough fabric).

She wears a very narrow white collar, with the neckline of the dress peeking over, which indicates that the collar is probably just pinned on top of the bodice.  The front closes with a brooch.  She also appears to be wearing a plain belt without a clasp or buckle.

Her skirt is pleated into the bodice with narrow knife-pleats, facing towards center-front.  The skirt is worn over a cage crinoline, and is finished at the hem with a wool tape to prevent wear on the dress fabric.

Hair:  Her hair is center-parted, combed low over the ears, and pinned back into a coil at about the hairline level.  Her hair looks slightly old-fashioned; hairstyles with the greatest width over the ears and ending abruptly near the earlobe was popular in the 1850s.

CDV: Woman in Silk with Watch

Posted in 1860s, CDV, decorated hairnets, neckties, Silk Dresses, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman in Silk with Watch, c. 1860

CDV: Woman in Silk with Watch, c. 1860

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Seated Woman


Dress: This dress is probably made of silk taffeta, one of the most popular fabrics for dresses in the early 1860s. The bodice is darted and opens in front, as nearly all dresses of the time do (for women. Girls’ dresses open in back). The sleeve is a version of the “modified pagoda,” as it is known to modern costume historians. A wavy edge winds its way from the front of the shoulder to the wrist. There may be a series of pleats at the top of the cuff, which serves to gives the sleeve a attractive upward curve. The skirt is gathered or gauged, and trimmed with a deep box-pleated flounce of self-fabric. The only other trim on the dress is ribbon or braid on the sleeve.

Accessories: She wears a flat, white collar about 1.25″ in width. A necktie made of ribbon is penned at her throat. Her pocketwatch is suspended from a chain around her neck and tucked into a ribbon belt. Her undersleeves are fitted at the wrist, with a narrow ruffle over the hand and gathered fullness in the arm. The undersleeves close with visible buttons (or, the buttons may be decorative, and the undersleeves may close with a hook and eye. She wears a lot of jewelry, including three visible rings, dangling earrings, and what appears to be a thin, dark necklace at the base of her neck (or this may be a looping of the watch chain)

Hair: Center parted and combed down to form a slope across the sides of her forehead and smoothly behind her ears. Bound in back in a coil, and covered with a decorated hairnet.

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.