Archive for the European Category

CDV: Young Italian Woman

Posted in 1860s, CDV, European, young women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Young Italian Woman, c. 1866-68

CDV: Young Italian Woman, c. 1866-68

Young Italian Woman, backmark

CDV: Young Italian Woman, backmark

Backmark: “Studio Fotografico Goriziano F. Troester Cotrada S. Giovani No. 14”

Date: c. 1866-68

Subject: Young Woman

Location: Italy

Dress: Unfortunately, years of fading and a wash of watercolor paint have obscured most of the details of this image.  Her dress is a one-piece composed of bodice and attached skirt.  The entire dress is tinted green with watercolors. The bodice is gathered, with a center-front opening and buttons.  The bodice is trimmed with U-shaped ruching.  The skirt reaches to within inches of the floor, and is trimmed about a foot from the hem with two narrow stripes.

She wears a white apron, which is an unusual accessory in photographs of this era.  Possibly it was a local convention.  When Americans are photoraphed in aprons, the aprons are almost always the decorative silk kind.

She wears a relatively small cage crinoline, a size typical for the latter half of the 1860s.

Hair:  Her hair looks like it is brushed straight back and bound up, but it is difficult to tell because of the poor quality of the photograph.

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CDV: Woman from Nice

Posted in 1860s, CDV, European, neckties, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman from Nice, c. 1866

CDV: Woman from Nice, c. 1866

Woman from Nice, Backmark

CDV: Woman from Nice, Backmark

Backmark: “Photographie D’Art G Echtler Rue Adelaide , 3. Avenue de la Gare Atelier au rez de Chaussee NICE Tous les cliches sont conserves”

Date: c. 1866

Subject: Woman

Location: Nice, France

Dress: This woman wears a one-piece dress composed of a bodice and attached skirt.  The fabric could be wool or silk or a mixture of the two.  The bodice is dart-fitted and closes at center front with hooks and eyes.  Decorative buttons spaced approximately 3/4″ apart line the placket.

Her sleeves are the modified pagoda style we have seen so often in this blog.  They are trimmed with narrow ribbon or braid to form a mock cuff.

The skirt is pleated, hangs about 6″ from the floor in front, and dips slightly towards the sides and back.  The hem is covered with a wool tape to prevent fraying.

She wears a thick necktie with the band exposed and relatively high on her neck.  This neck height is typical of mid-to-late 1860s fashion.  Her white collar and undersleeves match each other, with a tiny row of dots around the edges and cuff.  These dots could be contrasting ribbon woven through eyelets, but there many other possibilities for how it was done.

Her only visible jewelry is a pair of drop earrings.

Hair: Her hair is center parted and arranged in a peculiar horizontal curl or wave over her ears.  She may have matching combs and ringlets down the back, but the photograph is too unclear to see exactly what is there.

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).

CDV: London Women

Posted in 1860s, CDV, decorated hairnets, European, Stripes, women with tags , , , , , , on December 4, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
London Women, c. 1860-66

CDV: London Women, c. 1860-66

London Women, backmark

CDV: London Women, backmark

Backmark: “J. Ward, Photographer. 78 Easton Road, London”

Date: c. 1860-66

Subject: Older woman and younger woman

Location: London

Older Woman:
This woman wears a hip-length, unfitted paletot over her dress. The jacket is either a shiny, worsted wool, or a wool/silk mix. The jacket is trimmed with two rows of dark ribbon- probably black velvet- and a row of decorative buttons down the front. Curiously, two of the buttons read as white and the rest as black. It is unclear if the white collar is attached to a dress-bodice underneath, or if it is attached to the jacket which is functioning as a bodice. A brooch fastens at center front and neck.

The dress, of which only the skirt is visible, is striped.

Her hair is parted in the center, and she wears an elaborate headdress or cap. These caps were in style in the 1850s, and so it is not surprising that an older woman would wear something a litlle out of style. Unlike headdresses of the early 1806s, which formed a moderate amount of fullness from forehead level to the nape, this 1850s style concentrates all the fullness at ear-level. Wide ribbons falling on the shoulders complete the full-yet-droopy look.

Younger woman: The younger woman wears a plain dress over a wide cage crinoline. No trim details are visible on her dress, except for the dark ribbon belt/sash tied fashionably at the side front of her waist. The black cord hanging from her neck is probably a watch fob. A slim white collar fastened with a brooch completes the dress.

Her long, fair-weather coat (i.e. more decorative than functional), probably made of wool, is trimmed with two rows of ribbon around the neck and down center front. Her sleeves are also trimmed in ribbon or tape, in a vaguely military style that was faddish in the early to mid 1860s. The white handkerchief at her elbow indicates the presence of a coat pocket. She fastens only the first button; the rest of the tiny buttons which go only to rib-cage level lie unused. This button formation is unusual for the period; most coats have large buttons that extend past the waist.

Her hair is center parted and rolled away from her face and bound in back in a low coil. She carries her hat, which appears to be straw and trimmed with ribbon and possibly flowers.