Archive for lace

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.)

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.