Archive for the women Category

Cabinet Card: 1870s Amelia van Strandres

Posted in 1870s, CDV, jewelry, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Alinka Lesbianka

Amelia van Strandes, 1870s

Amelia van Strandes, backmark Backmark: Houston  307 King Street S.C.  [handwritten: “Amelia Vans——-“]

Date: c. 1870s

Subject: Portrait of a woman

Location:  Houston, S.C. [Note: There is a Houston in North Carolina, about 8 miles from the South Carolina border.  I wonder if the boundary has changed since the 1870s?]

Dress:  Silk, probably a solid-colored taffeta.  There is a decorative square inset at the front neck of the bodice.  I am not sure, but I think it is probably just piping basted onto the bodice to give the illusion of being a separate piece.  The mid-height standing collar is a darker color from the bodice.  Perhaps velvet?

She wears a heavily pleated white collar inside the dress collar, and a bow tacked or pinned at the neck.  A black lace fichu or necktie is pinned over everything.

Jewelry: She wears hooked earrings, rather large and probably metal.  There is a chain looped around her neck.  I’m not sure if it is a necklace or a fob.

Hair: This style is really magnificent and undoubtedly required extra hair.  The rolls on top are probably fake (real human hair, but purchased in the pre-rolled form), as is the mass of hair just visible in a coil behind the bow.  I suspect that the long curls are real.

I don’t know much about this period, I’m afraid.  If you can make any corrections, please do.

Cabinet Card: Nellie, 1896

Posted in 1890s, cabinet cards, women with tags , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by Alinka Lesbianka

Nellie, 1896

Nellie, 1896, backmark Backmark: [in pencil: For Alice- With love from Coz. Nellie. Easter, 1896.”] In ink: ” Miss Nellie Lemon daughter of James Lemon a brother of Jos Lemon 2?? Cousin of F A Lemon 2” Alice May Lemon

Date: 1896

Subject: Portrait bust of a woman

Location: Unknown

Nellie wears the enormous leg’o’mutton (gigot) sleeves worn between 1893-19897. Her top may be an example of the newly popular shirtwaist, which was one of the first mass-produced items of daywear available to middle-class women. Shirtwaists were loose-fitting, usually washable, and looked fresh and stylish when paired with contrasting funnel-shaped skirts.

She may also be wearing a two-piece dress consisting of a matching bodice and skirt, linked together at the waist with a few sets of hooks and eyes.

Her huge puffed sleeves would have been supported from the inside with tie-on puffs of buckram, horsehair, down-filled pillows, or cages stiffened with wire or whalebone.

The piece of black lace encircling her neck may have been machine-made and purchased from a department store or catalogue, or she may have spent countless hours making it herself. I can’t tell what the long, dark strip down the center front of her bodice is, but my best guess is that it is a piece of ribbon.

Jewelry: Nellie’s only visible jewelry is a brooch pinned at her throat, which completes the visual focus on her face. It also probably serves to hold the lace in place on the bodice.

Hair: Nellie’s hair is held loosely up in a high twist, and is probably secured by several hairpins and a decorative comb. Notice the clean, soft look of her hair, and how different it is from the slick, shiny styles of earlier decades. Although frequent hair-washing would not become the norm until the 1960s, indoor plumbing made washing one’s hair once a week a possibility.

Tintype: c. 1870, young woman in sheer dress

Posted in 1870s, jewelry, Sheer Dresses, Side-parted hair, Tintypes, young women with tags , , , , , on April 5, 2009 by Alinka Lesbianka

Tintype of girl in sheer dress, c. 1870

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1870

Subject: Seated young woman

Location: Unknown

Note: I’m really not sure about the date of this tintype. This style of ruched bodice was especially popular from around 1865 through the early 70s, and the dropped armscye suggests a date closer to 1865, but loose hair is an 1870s fad, as far as I know. I’d appreciate any leads on comparanda to date this better.

Dress: This young woman wears a sheer dress over an opaque underdress. The bodice is shirred over tiny cords, and appears to be only on a yoke, ending at about bust level. The sleeves are long and full, coming from a dropped armscye and ending in a ruffle at the cuff. There appears to be decorative piping (tubes of fabric applied to the surface, not filled with cord) at the front yoke, armsyce, and cuffs. The jewel neckline of the dress is finished with a dark lace frill and a bow with flowers of some sort- possibly wax buds.

The underdress is probably entirely separate from the outer dress, and made of silk taffeta. I have seen several extant examples of this kind of dress, but never in any color but white. The ensemble she wears may be black, or another color that photographed dark, such as red. All of the extant dresses I have seen have been plain white organdy, but because this one is colored it may be silk.

Her skirt is not visible, but based on originals I have seen it probably consists of a skirt with a small train, and an overskirt which has been gathered up to form a polonaise, bustling out at the back.  She would wear a cage crinoline with a small bustle pad in back

Jewelry: She wears a black choker pinned at the throat with a metal brooch.

Hair: Her hair is worn faddishly loose and side-parted. To the contemporary viewer, she probably would have looked rakish in the free-spirited way that young women often do. When worn by women, the side-part had for decades prior carried an association with radical ideas and masculine bravura. Loose curls, likewise, signified a free spirit, compared to the tight, slicked-back buns that were worn since the late 1830s.

Photograph: Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Posted in 1890s, cabinet cards, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Photograph: Woman with Sword Pin, c. 1895

Backmark: None

Date:. c. 1895

Subject: Woman Seated

Location: Unknown

Note: This looks like a photograph of a Cabinet Card.

Dress: This woman wears a two-piece dress with large leg-o’-mutton sleeves. The bodice is fitted over a corset with tucks radiating up from CF/waist. The bodice closes at center front with hooks and eyes. The sleeves are typical of the mid 1890s. They may be supported inside with horsehair fabric or pleated buckram lining the sleeve, or a separate set of sleeve cages or pillows.

An enormous eyelet collar fans out from her neck and over the sleeves. The dress is finished with a high standing collar, bows at the shoulder, and trim at the waist made of velvet. A tiny sword pin pierces the front of the collar.

Hair: She wears her hair swept back, with small curls framing her forehead. A small comb holds the sides of her hair back, she probably has a matching one on the other side of her head.

The hat is typical of the 1890s. It rests directly on top of the head and level, and adds height with bows and feathers. Feather use in clothing and accessories reached a peak in the 1880s and 1890s. Entire birds (and other small animals) adorned hats and became fans. The straight, spiky plumes in this woman’s hat may be from one of any number of exotic birds, but are probably egret.

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.

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Posted in 1860s, CDV, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Unknown

Dress: One-piece dressed composed of bodice with attached skirt; fabric is probably wool, plain weave and solid color; fan-front bodice (“Y-bodice”) with pleats at shoulder; “bishop” or gathered sleeve into a cuff, pleats at armscye; knife-pleated skirt.

This woman is unusual for a few reasons. The fan-front bodice went out of style before CDVs were invented (1858), and she does not appear to be wearing a cage crinoline. There are a few explanations possible: 1) The CDV is very old (c. 1858)- supported by her style of dress. 2) She wears outdated styles, is perhaps marginalized by location, age, status 3) She is a Quaker or a member of a similar religious group- supported by her plain clothing and simple hairstyle. I don’t know enough about Quakers to be sure, can anyone help with this? Her flat, narrow collar, which was stylish in the early to mid 1860s, supports #3.

Fan front bodices were usually gathered or gauged at the waist; some were tucked, though tucks were more typical of earlier styles of the fan-front (1820s-40s). The pleats at the shoulder was a feature dating back decades.

She does not appear to be wearing a crinoline. Although it is impossible to be sure, especially without seeing the hem, the bulge at her hips looks more like the abrupt fullness of several petticoats and a pad than the smooth curve of a cage.

The dark velvet ribbon tied around her neck may be a watch fob. I guess this by how it is pulled taut and to the left. Watch pockets were usually small, horizontal pockets sewn into the waist of the skirt.

Hair: Her hair is center parted and combed behind her ears. There is none of the side fullness typical of the period. Her hair is probably bound up in a simple bun at the back.

Cabinet Card: Woman with Poufed Fringe, 1880s

Posted in 1880s, 1890s, cabinet cards, jewelry, women with tags , on December 19, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman with Poufed Fringe, 1880s

Cabinet Card: Woman with Poufed Fringe, 1880s-90s

Woman with Poufed Fringe, backmark

Cabinet Card: Woman with Poufed Fringe, backmark

Backmark: “.Whitbeck. Successor to Forshew.  Photographer. Hudson, N.Y.  Duplicates may be procured at any time”

Date: c. 1880s- early 90’s

Subject: Bust of a Woman

Location: Hudson, N.Y.

This woman’s bodice is made from three materials (at least).  The body and sleeves are plain colored wool, the lapels are velvet, and the false waist in the center is a lightweight striped silk.

Bodices from this period often opened up center front with buttons or hooks and eyes, and the false waist hooked over it to conceal the opening.

Her sleeves are slightly puffed, which was in style during the late 1880s and early 1890s.  Could we see her skirt, it would probably be asymmetrically-draped, cylindrical in shape, with a small bustle.

She wears a tight bead necklace high on her throat, a pin of some sort at the front of her bodice neck, and small earrings.

Hair:  Her hair is pulled back tightly into a bun at the nape of her neck.  She wears her bangs short and puffed, a style which was popular throughout the 1880s and into the 1890s.