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Cabinet Card: Girl in First Communion dress

Posted in 1900s, cabinet cards, girls, Special Occasion with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2010 by Alinka Lesbianka

Girl in First Communion dress

Backmark:  None.  Front reads “Conrad Magnus Photo Artist Hoboken N.J.”

Date: c. 1900

Subject: Seated Girl, full length

Location: Hoboken, N.J.

Note: This is another period that I don’t know much about; ditto for first communion clothes.  Feel free to help me out!

Dress:  She wears a light dotted dress, it could be a silk or cotton.  It is semi-sheer, and the dots may be printed in another light color.  The skirt is ruched around her hips, and cut in a slight trumpet shape.  The hem is accentuated with a tuck about 2″ in depth.  If she were standing, the skirt would probably reach to her lower calf.

The bodice has a yoke that is pleated.  Many dresses from this period had tucked (sewn-down pleats) yokes, but this one does not appear to have sewn pleats.  The bodice is full at her front ribcage, which is characteristic of this period.  There is a faux-berthe lace collar that spreads over her shoulders and helps give a smooth line to the fullness in the front bodice.  The short standing collar is sheer and edged in lace.  A woman’s collar from this period would have reached all the way to the top of the neck and been supported by small bones.

Note the hint of a bow at the nape of her neck.

The sleeves are full, ending in a band just below her elbow.  There is lace tacked to the band, a sartorial remnant of the washable, detachable cuffs that women had been wearing for most of the 19th century.

Accessories: she wears long, white gloves with pin-tucks at the back of the hand.  Note the bracelet worn over her left glove.  There is also a tiny brooch at her throat.

Hair: Her hair is pulled up into a fashionable top-knot and finished with a ribbon and flowers.  The flowers are probably specific to the occasion (her first communion?  I am bad at judging ages.  Maybe her confirmation.)