Archive for woman

Image: Woman with Glasses

Posted in 1900s, young women with tags , , , , on April 5, 2010 by Alinka Lesbianka

Woman with glasses

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1900

Subject: Portrait bust of a woman

Location: Unknown

Dress:  Her clothing is barely visible, but I see a hint of texture around her collarbone area that looks like it could be embroidery.  Something like eyelet, perhaps.  Her high standing collar is probably supported inside with tiny bones of whalebone or zig-zagged wire.

Accessories:  There is a tiny brooch at her throat.  Unusually, she is wearing glasses.  I don’t know if the dearth of images of women wearing glasses is because few women wore them or because most took them off for their photograph.  But these are adorable- wire rimmed and oval shaped.

Hair:  Her hair is center parted and probably combed over a pad of some kind.  Her hair has a somewhat awkward shape, but picture it with one of the magnificent hats of the period and you will understand the reason for it.

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.

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.

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: 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: 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.