Archive for buttons

CDV: Young Woman in Coat with Buttons, c. 1864-66

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, jewelry, Outerwear, young women with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2009 by Alinka Lesbianka
Girl in Coat with Buttons, c. 1864-66

CDV: Young Woman in Coat with Buttons, c. 1864-66

Girl in Coat with Buttons, backmark

CDV: Young Woman in Coat with Buttons, backmark

Backmark: 2-cent Proprietary stamp, blue.  ” R.A. Lord   164 Chatham Street (158 Old Number) New York” (more of those images here and here)

Date: c. 1864-1866

Subject: Seated Young Woman

Location: New York, NY

This young woman wears a paletot-style coat, probably of solid-colored wool.  The coat has dropped armscyes, loose sleeves (in the style generally known as coat sleeves, i.e. two piece, shaped sleeves).  The body of the coat is loose all over and, when standing, would provide a smooth line from her shoulders to the hem of her full skirt.  This obscuring of the waistline was the most common silhouette for outerwear throughout the Victorian era.

The coat reaches about hip-level, and closes up center front with three sets of buttons.  The buttons probably fasten with a cord loop. The coat has a narrow, rectangular collar and what appears to be a brooch pinned at the throat.

The coat is decorated with fabric tabs and buttons at the shoulder and cuff, giving it just a hint of the military style popular with women during the war years.

Her jewelry is a pair of hoop earrings and a ring on her finger.  She is holding something in her hand, but I cannot make out what it is.  A tiny miser’s purse, perhaps?

Hair:  Her hair is typical of that worn by young women towards the end of the war.  It is oiled (note the comb marks), center parted, and the front sections rolled away from the face.  The roll begins right at her part, rather than down near her temples, which is a feature of late-war style.   Her front rolled hair is combed back and down to meet her back hair, which is coiled into a low-lying bun or knot.

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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: Young Woman with Rolled Hair, c. 1862-64

Posted in 1860s, Brooches, CDV, Great Hair, Stripes, young women with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Young Woman with Rolled Hair, c. 1862-64

CDV: Young Woman with Rolled Hair, c. 1862-64

Young Woman with Rolled Hair, backmark

CDV: Young Woman with Rolled Hair, backmark

Backmark: “D.K. Jewell Artist, Augusta, Me.”

Date: c. 1862-64

Subject: Portrait of a Young Woman

Location: Augusta, Maine

Dress: Fabric is striped and barred (dark vertical stripe, thin light “bars”, or widowpane) may be wool, cotton, silk, or a mix.

The piping at the neckline is visible. Most, if not all, round (jewel) necklines were piped in this period.

She wears a short standing white collar and a brooch at center front/neck. Decorative buttons down center front are just barely visible.

Hair: The three-quarter pose allows us to see a wonderful hairstyle. Center parted and oiled (note the comb lines just below her part); the front hair is combed away from the face over a wide “rat,” making the width extend from just above her temples t o the nape of her neck.

The front hair continues in a thick roll (no doubt augmented by a rat or false hair) across her neck, with the ends integrated into the back coil or tucked beneath is.

Her back hair is combed into a low-lying coil. Note the prominent levels(coils sticking out, with the last coil being the farthest out); this is typical of back coils from the 1840s through the middle of the 1860s. The back hair was typically held in place with a comb, usually ornamental as well as functional. Unfortunately, her comb is not visible. She may also be using hairpins to help hold everything in place.

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: 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.

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: Close Curls

Posted in 1860s, CDV with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Close Curls, c. 1863-67

Close Curls, c. 1863-67

J.J. Boyton  Clinton, Mass.

J.J. Boyton Clinton, Mass.

This woman’s clothing appears uninteresting at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal some unusual details of mid-1860s fashion.

She wears a one-piece dress composed of a bodice and attached skirt. The fabric is probably wool. Her bodice is dart-fitted, with a row of functional buttonholes closing center front. There are eight visible buttons, in a contrast color to the fabric. She has a short standing detachable white collar, and wears a light-colored neck-bow. The strap is just barely visible around her neck. She wears a dark belt, approximately 1.25″, with no visible buckle.

Her sleeves are pleated into a decorative seam down the top. The seam may be covered with braid or some other trim, the photograph is unclear.

Her cuffs are noteworthy: They are slightly conical and pointed on the top edge, with two decorative buttons. The question is over the material- are these black leather? Spectacularly shiny satin? Cuffs like these show up occasionally in photographs, often enough and randomly enough that they could not have been simply a localized fad. I have never come across anything like them in museum collections. Does anyone have any information?

Her skirt is also noteworthy. The wide box pleats at center front and side seam(s) are typical of the mid ’60s, but note the three smaller pleats radiating out from each. The hem of her skirt appears to be box-pleated with the same fabric as the rest of the dress. I wonder how those pleats are attached? It appears that the flounce is sewn right-sides-together, but this construction is not typical for the time period. A pleat topstitched on with a short header is more common. If you have seen an original like this, please comment below.

Finally, her hair, which I consider also noteworthy. It is center-parted, combed smooth for about two inches, and then erupts into a dense but controlled mass of curls on either side of her head. I cannot tell whether her hair is cut short, which was faddish in the late 1860s and early 1870s, or if the sides were let to curl naturally and then combed into a low back bun.