Ghost
Mourning band for George Washington, 1799 Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Mourning band for George Washington (d. 12/14/1799), white ribbon with painted design of urn inscribed “GW” in wreath, edged with black silk and covered with black silk crepe
Inscription
Written in ink of fabric label sewn to object: “Mourning Badge for George Washington. G.W. on urn. Probably worn by Wm. H. Sumner [1780-1861] 1799, son of Gov. [Increase] Sumner [1746-6/7/1799]”

Mourning band for George Washington, 1799 Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Mourning band for George Washington (d. 12/14/1799), white ribbon with painted design of urn inscribed “GW” in wreath, edged with black silk and covered with black silk crepe

Inscription

Written in ink of fabric label sewn to object: “Mourning Badge for George Washington. G.W. on urn. Probably worn by Wm. H. Sumner [1780-1861] 1799, son of Gov. [Increase] Sumner [1746-6/7/1799]”

Mourning ensemble, ca 1870 US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Black mourning dress reached its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of the United Kingdom in the second half of the 19th century. Queen Victoria wore mourning from the death of her husband, Prince Albert (1819-1861), until her own death. With these standards in place, it was considered a social requisite to don black from anywhere between three months to two and a half years while grieving for a loved one or monarch. The stringent social custom existed for all classes and was available at all price points. Those who could not afford the change of dress often altered and dyed their regular garments black. The amount of black to be worn was dictated by several different phases of mourning; full mourning ensembles were solid black while half mourning allowed the wearer to add a small amount of white or purple. Mourning clothing tended to follow the fashionable silhouette of the period, much like this exquisitely finished full mourning dress. This dress shows typical high style 1870s touches such as asymmetry, the bustle back and decorative hem details. The refined details are worked in black crinkled crepe, a common textile used for mourning attire, which indicates that the owner may have had the garment produced for a special occasion.

Mourning ensemble, ca 1870 US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Black mourning dress reached its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of the United Kingdom in the second half of the 19th century. Queen Victoria wore mourning from the death of her husband, Prince Albert (1819-1861), until her own death. With these standards in place, it was considered a social requisite to don black from anywhere between three months to two and a half years while grieving for a loved one or monarch. The stringent social custom existed for all classes and was available at all price points. Those who could not afford the change of dress often altered and dyed their regular garments black. The amount of black to be worn was dictated by several different phases of mourning; full mourning ensembles were solid black while half mourning allowed the wearer to add a small amount of white or purple. Mourning clothing tended to follow the fashionable silhouette of the period, much like this exquisitely finished full mourning dress. This dress shows typical high style 1870s touches such as asymmetry, the bustle back and decorative hem details. The refined details are worked in black crinkled crepe, a common textile used for mourning attire, which indicates that the owner may have had the garment produced for a special occasion.

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Mourning parasol, 1895-1900 US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A beautiful as well as large parasol, it is decidedly for mourning. This fact is evidenced by the hidden mourning crepe found in the middle layer between the taffeta and the densely ruched mousseline de soie. The handle is also extremely refined.

Mourning parasol, 1895-1900 US, the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A beautiful as well as large parasol, it is decidedly for mourning. This fact is evidenced by the hidden mourning crepe found in the middle layer between the taffeta and the densely ruched mousseline de soie. The handle is also extremely refined.

(Source: metmuseum.org)

Mourning tiara, 1880’s Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), the Victoria & Albert Museum


Jet is the fossilised remains of driftwood. In Britain, the main source is Whitby, in Yorkshire. It became particularly popular in mourning jewellery in the mid 19th century.
The custom of wearing mourning dress was encouraged by Queen Victoria’s prolonged mourning after the death of her husband Albert in 1861. Formal mourning required black crepe or bombazine clothes along with ‘a few trinkets to accentuate the general sombreness of the costume’. This tiara shows that jet or its substitutes was worn at the highest level of society: only those above a certain social class would have had the occasion to wear a tiara. It is interesting that it is made of ‘French jet’, a cast glass substitute for jet. As supplies of jet were not sufficient to keep up with the demand, dark cast glass known as ‘French jet’ or ‘Vauxhall glass’ was often used.

Mourning tiara, 1880’s Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), the Victoria & Albert Museum

Jet is the fossilised remains of driftwood. In Britain, the main source is Whitby, in Yorkshire. It became particularly popular in mourning jewellery in the mid 19th century.

The custom of wearing mourning dress was encouraged by Queen Victoria’s prolonged mourning after the death of her husband Albert in 1861. Formal mourning required black crepe or bombazine clothes along with ‘a few trinkets to accentuate the general sombreness of the costume’. This tiara shows that jet or its substitutes was worn at the highest level of society: only those above a certain social class would have had the occasion to wear a tiara. It is interesting that it is made of ‘French jet’, a cast glass substitute for jet. As supplies of jet were not sufficient to keep up with the demand, dark cast glass known as ‘French jet’ or ‘Vauxhall glass’ was often used.

(Source: collections.vam.ac.uk)

Double pocket, 1775-1790 England, Winterthur Museum
There’s something very charming about these.  They’re folksy without being that tacky country kitsch style of awful.

Double pocket, 1775-1790 England, Winterthur Museum

There’s something very charming about these.  They’re folksy without being that tacky country kitsch style of awful.

Stomacher, 1720-30 England, Winterthur Museum

Stomacher, 1720-30 England, Winterthur Museum

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.

Wedding dress and matching cape, 1839 US (New Hampshire), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dress worn by Elizabeth Richards at her marriage to John S. Parmelee in Newport, New Hampshire, January 19, 1839. Wedding dress of light gray green figured silk having all-over small dot and powder of two different stylized blossoms; bodice fitted and boned coming to V at waistline at center front, hooked down center back, bodice front trimmed with folds of self material and row of self covered small buttons, V neck, leg-of-mutton sleeves with top fullness caught down by lines of piping and self covered buttons, skirt full all the way around with fullness in pleats in front and on sides, in gathers center back; (b) matching short round shoulder cape; bodice lined with unbleached heavy cotton twill; skirt faced with cream colored cotton, and cape lined with cream colored cotton.

Wedding dress and matching cape, 1839 US (New Hampshire), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dress worn by Elizabeth Richards at her marriage to John S. Parmelee in Newport, New Hampshire, January 19, 1839. Wedding dress of light gray green figured silk having all-over small dot and powder of two different stylized blossoms; bodice fitted and boned coming to V at waistline at center front, hooked down center back, bodice front trimmed with folds of self material and row of self covered small buttons, V neck, leg-of-mutton sleeves with top fullness caught down by lines of piping and self covered buttons, skirt full all the way around with fullness in pleats in front and on sides, in gathers center back; (b) matching short round shoulder cape; bodice lined with unbleached heavy cotton twill; skirt faced with cream colored cotton, and cape lined with cream colored cotton.

Going away dress and matching cape, 1838 US, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Newly wedded couples change into “going away” outfits before leaving their reception.  This tradition is fading in most places, but it’s still hanging on here in the South.

Dress (a) and matching cape (b) of grayish-olive-green silk with fancy-woven stripes with lines of white; fitted bodice, pointed in front; widely flaring neck; fullness across bust in unpressed pleats; long sleeves with fine pleats in upper part held in place by bias folds, full from just above elbow to above wrist, fullness pleated vertically to wrist; full skirt with loose pleats in front and gathered in back; short double cape (b) of same material with edges finished with bias folds of self material; both dress and cape fully lined with white cotton cloth; probably the going-away outfit of Harriet Maria Spelman, married to Estes Howe, August 20, 1838.

Going away dress and matching cape, 1838 US, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Newly wedded couples change into “going away” outfits before leaving their reception.  This tradition is fading in most places, but it’s still hanging on here in the South.

Dress (a) and matching cape (b) of grayish-olive-green silk with fancy-woven stripes with lines of white; fitted bodice, pointed in front; widely flaring neck; fullness across bust in unpressed pleats; long sleeves with fine pleats in upper part held in place by bias folds, full from just above elbow to above wrist, fullness pleated vertically to wrist; full skirt with loose pleats in front and gathered in back; short double cape (b) of same material with edges finished with bias folds of self material; both dress and cape fully lined with white cotton cloth; probably the going-away outfit of Harriet Maria Spelman, married to Estes Howe, August 20, 1838.

Men’s livery, ca 1870 France
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 livery, ca 1870 France

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.

Parasol by Hermes, 1920’s Paris
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.

Parasol by Hermes, 1920’s Paris

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.

Button Theme