Ghost
tuesday-johnson:

ca. 1840-1860, [daguerreotype portrait of a dramatically posed lady in an elaborate dress, possibly Scottish, with a star pattern, tartan sash and hat]
via the Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

Wow!  A super rare look at shoes from the time.

tuesday-johnson:

ca. 1840-1860, [daguerreotype portrait of a dramatically posed lady in an elaborate dress, possibly Scottish, with a star pattern, tartan sash and hat]

via the Harvard University’s Houghton Library, Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harrison D. Horblit Collection of Early Photography

Wow!  A super rare look at shoes from the time.

Half-mourning dress, 1855-65 (ca 1860-63?), the North Carolina Museum of History

TWO-PIECE HAND-SEWN, BLACK SILK DRESS, FITTED, LINED, BONED BODICE, PLAIN ROUND NECKLINE, EIGHT PURPLE/BLACK SQUARE DECORATIVE BUTTONS ABOVE HOOK AND EYE CLOSURE AT CENTER FRONT, DROPPED SHOULDER, PURPLE PIPING, SHAPED SLEEVES W/PURPLE CUFFS, LACE BASTED ON CUFF EDGES; UNLINED, BELL-SHAPED, BOX PLEATED SKIRT W/WIDE PURPLE BAND AT HEMLINE (TOP OF BAND IS SINUOUS AND FINISHED W/TWISTED CORDING), LOWER EDGE OF HEM FINISHED W/URPLE WOOL BRAID, SLIGHT TRAIN, UNLINED EXCEPT FOR GLAZED BROWN COTTON AT HEM, PAIRS OF NARROW, BRAIDED TIES AT INSIDE SEAMLINES NEAR HEM, HOOK AND EYE ON WAISTBAND.

Half-mourning dress, 1855-65 (ca 1860-63?), the North Carolina Museum of History

TWO-PIECE HAND-SEWN, BLACK SILK DRESS, FITTED, LINED, BONED BODICE, PLAIN ROUND NECKLINE, EIGHT PURPLE/BLACK SQUARE DECORATIVE BUTTONS ABOVE HOOK AND EYE CLOSURE AT CENTER FRONT, DROPPED SHOULDER, PURPLE PIPING, SHAPED SLEEVES W/PURPLE CUFFS, LACE BASTED ON CUFF EDGES; UNLINED, BELL-SHAPED, BOX PLEATED SKIRT W/WIDE PURPLE BAND AT HEMLINE (TOP OF BAND IS SINUOUS AND FINISHED W/TWISTED CORDING), LOWER EDGE OF HEM FINISHED W/URPLE WOOL BRAID, SLIGHT TRAIN, UNLINED EXCEPT FOR GLAZED BROWN COTTON AT HEM, PAIRS OF NARROW, BRAIDED TIES AT INSIDE SEAMLINES NEAR HEM, HOOK AND EYE ON WAISTBAND.

Mourning evening slippers by Melnotte, 1845-65 France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tiny black slippers were de rigueur in the fashionable mid-Victorian lady’s wardrobe. Black shoes were felt to go with anything, hence the most versatile and dependable choice of footwear to have on hand. Slippers of this type are most commonly found in satin, so the faille fabric of this unworn pair is unusual. It is possible that the shoes were intended for mourning, when a dull-surfaced fabric was desired. The interesting label of the London vendor - written largely in French, noting the firm as exclusive agent, and mentioning the added stock of Parisian gloves, perfumes, and novelties - demonstrates the importance of imported French shoes and accessories in the contemporary market.

Mourning evening slippers by Melnotte, 1845-65 France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tiny black slippers were de rigueur in the fashionable mid-Victorian lady’s wardrobe. Black shoes were felt to go with anything, hence the most versatile and dependable choice of footwear to have on hand. Slippers of this type are most commonly found in satin, so the faille fabric of this unworn pair is unusual. It is possible that the shoes were intended for mourning, when a dull-surfaced fabric was desired. The interesting label of the London vendor - written largely in French, noting the firm as exclusive agent, and mentioning the added stock of Parisian gloves, perfumes, and novelties - demonstrates the importance of imported French shoes and accessories in the contemporary market.

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Mourning bracelet, 1840-60, McCord Museum

Jewellery made from hair was very popular in the mid-19th century. Symbols of life, hair has long been associated in many societies with funeral rituals. This piece of mourning jewellery, worn during this period in memory of the deceased, was a reminder of the inevitability of death. However its price, sometimes high, also made it a symbol of social status.When the hair was that of a friend or living relative, the piece of jewelry was worn as a token of esteem. This one, however, was no doubt made from the hair of a deceased person and worn in his or her memory. Such jewelry was not acceptable during the period of deep mourning, when only jet accessories were permitted.
What
Hair is a material that can be braided, woven, sown, knotted and coiled to produce all kinds of shapes and patterns. Horsehair was also used for this type of jewelry.

Where
Not all hair jewelry was made by jewellers. Magazines explained to their readers how to make it at home.

When
This kind of jewelry had existed in Europe since the late 17th century.

Who
Bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watch chains were made of both men’s hair and women’s hair.

Mourning bracelet, 1840-60, McCord Museum

Jewellery made from hair was very popular in the mid-19th century.

Symbols of life, hair has long been associated in many societies with funeral rituals. This piece of mourning jewellery, worn during this period in memory of the deceased, was a reminder of the inevitability of death. However its price, sometimes high, also made it a symbol of social status.

When the hair was that of a friend or living relative, the piece of jewelry was worn as a token of esteem. This one, however, was no doubt made from the hair of a deceased person and worn in his or her memory. Such jewelry was not acceptable during the period of deep mourning, when only jet accessories were permitted.

  • What

    Hair is a material that can be braided, woven, sown, knotted and coiled to produce all kinds of shapes and patterns. Horsehair was also used for this type of jewelry.

  • Where

    Not all hair jewelry was made by jewellers. Magazines explained to their readers how to make it at home.

  • When

    This kind of jewelry had existed in Europe since the late 17th century.

  • Who

    Bracelets, necklaces, earrings and watch chains were made of both men’s hair and women’s hair.

(Source: mccord-museum.qc.ca)

Calash or hood, mid-19th century France (worn in Boston), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman’s brown padded calash with light blue lining; brown double ruffle around face; light blue taffeta ties; padded curtain at back; ribs possibly made from wood

Calash or hood, mid-19th century France (worn in Boston), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman’s brown padded calash with light blue lining; brown double ruffle around face; light blue taffeta ties; padded curtain at back; ribs possibly made from wood

Dress and matching cape, ca 1850 US, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A dress and matching cape of white muslin with white brocaded cotton with all-over design of serpentine stems bearing leaves and five petalled blossoms, printed over with a design of small brown dots and short stemmed rose buds in red and green; (a) bodice fitted and boned, hooked down center back, coming to point in center front, wide flaring neckline, three quarter length bell shaped sleeves edged with two gathered ruffles, skirt very full with fullness gathered all around, four self gathered flounces widening from top to bottom; cape (b) short, high round neck hooked down center front, edged with short gathered ruffle; all ruffles finished with green embroidered scallops; several brown stains.

Dress and matching cape, ca 1850 US, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

A dress and matching cape of white muslin with white brocaded cotton with all-over design of serpentine stems bearing leaves and five petalled blossoms, printed over with a design of small brown dots and short stemmed rose buds in red and green; (a) bodice fitted and boned, hooked down center back, coming to point in center front, wide flaring neckline, three quarter length bell shaped sleeves edged with two gathered ruffles, skirt very full with fullness gathered all around, four self gathered flounces widening from top to bottom; cape (b) short, high round neck hooked down center front, edged with short gathered ruffle; all ruffles finished with green embroidered scallops; several brown stains.

Men’s slippers, ca 1860
Click to go to the absentee bidding page.  This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EST).  You will need to register to bid ahead of time.

Men’s slippers, ca 1860

Click to go to the absentee bidding page.  This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EST).  You will need to register to bid ahead of time.

Wrapper, ca 1855
The lot also includes a day dress (ca 1850), a spencer (ca 1820) and a bodice (ca 1800).
Click to go to the absentee bidding page.  This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EST).  You will need to register to bid ahead of time.

Wrapper, ca 1855

The lot also includes a day dress (ca 1850), a spencer (ca 1820) and a bodice (ca 1800).

Click to go to the absentee bidding page.  This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EST).  You will need to register to bid ahead of time.

I found this website while searching for pioneer clothing: Fibers of Function.  They have a page with bits from the diaries of people (mostly women) going west on the Oregon Trail which mention clothing.

I particularly like this one from the diary of Helen Carpenter:

June 19, 1857
Six days past Fort Kearney, seven to Courthouse Rock

… There is a bride and groom in the Inmann party. The bride wears hoops. We have read of hoops being worn, but they had not reached Kansas before we left so these are the first we have seen and would not recommend them for this mode of traveling. The wearer has less personal privacy than the Pawnee in his blanket. In asides the bride is called “Miss Hoopy.” Fairly good grass in camp and willows for wood.

All of her entries were fun to read, actually.  She seems to have been from a rather well off family, or else she just made a particularly comfortable trip.

May fashions, 1855 US, Graham’s Magazine
July fashions, 1857 France, Courrier de la Mode

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