Archive for curls

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.

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CDV: End of the ’50s

Posted in 1850s, CDV, Outerwear, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
End of the '50s

CDV: End of the '50s

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1858

Subject: Woman

Location: Unknown

Dress: The dress is made from heavy watered silk, with three rows of gathered ruffles at the hem.  The ruffles may be of the same fabric or a coordinating fabric; from their more wrinkled texture, my guess is that they are a taffeta.  The ruffles are finished with a large (about 3/4″ wide) scallop, which was a popular edging at the time.

The woman wears a wide (about 3″) flat collar with some texture, indicating that it is lace or embroidered, and a slightly ruffled edge.  Note how she has placed the collar on top of her wrap.  She also wears full undersleeves, though details are not visible.  The dark spot below where her collar meets in front may be a brooch, but because it is much lower than most brooches, I think it is probably a button.  It may also be the hanging portion of a brooch.

Outerwear: She wears a mantle, which is in a style that was popular throughout the 1850s and into the 1860s.  (In fact, it survived in some form for most of the Victorian era).  This style mantle is characterized by opening in front, being slightly fitted over the shoulders, shorter in length over the arms, long tabs in the front, and a full back designed to flow over the full skirt.  The back of the mantle could range from just below waist-length to almost the knees.

This mantle also has a ruffled edges extending from the very elongated shoulder-line to her waist, where she holds it in place.  The fabric of the mantle is difficult to discern.  Some texture on her left arm appears to be lace (likely Chantilly lace, which was wildly popular).  Although most chantilly lace was worn as a simple triangular shawl, there are plenty of extant examples of cut-and-sewn garments from the lace to make it possible that this is one.

Hair: Her hair center-parted and arranged in several loose, curl-like rolls towards her face.  Her hair is at its widest between her temples and chin, which was the fashionable shape throughout the 1850s.  She is wearing some sort of headdress, with chenille or tassels of some other material hanging stylishly at the side.

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.