Ghost
Bergère, 19th century US (probably ca 1871-72 if it’s really 19th century), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman’s “Bergere” hat(a), shoulder cape(b), and cap(c). Each of white satin-weave silk with a simple curved leafy spring repeating in close over-turned staggered rows. B and C with affixed paper tags having the name “Mrs. S.J. Rae or (Ral). A: stained, some missing fabric repaired or leaving cardboard underform visible. B: slightly stained. C: good condition.

Shown here with a matching shoulder cape and cap:

Bergère, 19th century US (probably ca 1871-72 if it’s really 19th century), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman’s “Bergere” hat(a), shoulder cape(b), and cap(c). Each of white satin-weave silk with a simple curved leafy spring repeating in close over-turned staggered rows. B and C with affixed paper tags having the name “Mrs. S.J. Rae or (Ral). A: stained, some missing fabric repaired or leaving cardboard underform visible. B: slightly stained. C: good condition.

Shown here with a matching shoulder cape and cap:

Mrs Rowe by Henry Pickering, 1752 England, York Museums Trust

Mrs Rowe by Henry Pickering, 1752 England, York Museums Trust

Louise, Duchess of Devonshire’s ‘Queen of Zenobia’ Ball Gown for the Devonshire House Ball by House of Worth, 1897 Paris (worn in England), Chatsworth


Ball gown with an under-robe of cloth of silver, wrought all over with silver thread and brilliants, and with an over-dress of green and gold shot-silk gauze, embroidered to the waist with green and gold metalwork, decorated with jewels. A long train of turquoise velvet, embroidered in gold to an oriental design, was attached to the shoulders. A bodice of gold cloth and lace was fitted over a whalebone corset into which her waist was tightly laced. The headdress that went with it has not survived, but it can be seen in Lafayette’s photograph.
The dress was made for Louise, Duchess of Devonshire by the House of Worth to wear at the celebrated Diamond Jubilee Ball at Devonshire House. It was a fancy dress ball and Louise attended as Queen Zenobia, the warrior Queen of Palmyra. The Duchess may have got the idea for the theme of the dress from Inigo Jones’s costume designs for Court Masques that are in the drawing collections at Chatsworth.

Unfortunately, the images are really small.

Louise, Duchess of Devonshire’s ‘Queen of Zenobia’ Ball Gown for the Devonshire House Ball by House of Worth, 1897 Paris (worn in England), Chatsworth

Ball gown with an under-robe of cloth of silver, wrought all over with silver thread and brilliants, and with an over-dress of green and gold shot-silk gauze, embroidered to the waist with green and gold metalwork, decorated with jewels. A long train of turquoise velvet, embroidered in gold to an oriental design, was attached to the shoulders. A bodice of gold cloth and lace was fitted over a whalebone corset into which her waist was tightly laced. The headdress that went with it has not survived, but it can be seen in Lafayette’s photograph.

The dress was made for Louise, Duchess of Devonshire by the House of Worth to wear at the celebrated Diamond Jubilee Ball at Devonshire House. It was a fancy dress ball and Louise attended as Queen Zenobia, the warrior Queen of Palmyra. The Duchess may have got the idea for the theme of the dress from Inigo Jones’s costume designs for Court Masques that are in the drawing collections at Chatsworth.

Unfortunately, the images are really small.

Edward IV period costume, 1896 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt

(1461-1883) The period is illustrated in Fig. 12 by a simple satin gown with revers of contrasting color, such as ruby with light pink; the head-dress of ruby velvet richly embroidered and jeweled.  A veil of lisse depending from each point and floating at the back.  The steeple-chase head-dresses were the particular feature of the day.  They are described as rolls of linen pointed like steeples, half an ell high, some having a wing at the side called butterflies; the cap was covered with lawn, which fell to the ground, and was tucked under the arm; many chains about the neck; velvet, silk, damask cloth of gold, costly furs, and striped materials, all worn.  The period was illustrated in the Health Exhibition of 1884 by a female figure taken from the King Rene Paris Library.  The skirt divided in two down the centre, with gold braid, each half subdivided into divisions of pink, or dark blue, gold or white satin, some having diagonal heraldic emblazoning in gold; gold belt round the waist where bodice ends; white chemisette with an upright plaiting at neck, and gold necklet; sleeves of pink satin, bordered with gold, tight blue ones beneath, forming a point on either side of the hand; stomacher of white satin crossed with gold; steeple head-dress in gold color, distended with wire, long veil to feet.

Edward IV period costume, 1896 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt

(1461-1883) The period is illustrated in Fig. 12 by a simple satin gown with revers of contrasting color, such as ruby with light pink; the head-dress of ruby velvet richly embroidered and jeweled.  A veil of lisse depending from each point and floating at the back.  The steeple-chase head-dresses were the particular feature of the day.  They are described as rolls of linen pointed like steeples, half an ell high, some having a wing at the side called butterflies; the cap was covered with lawn, which fell to the ground, and was tucked under the arm; many chains about the neck; velvet, silk, damask cloth of gold, costly furs, and striped materials, all worn.  The period was illustrated in the Health Exhibition of 1884 by a female figure taken from the King Rene Paris Library.  The skirt divided in two down the centre, with gold braid, each half subdivided into divisions of pink, or dark blue, gold or white satin, some having diagonal heraldic emblazoning in gold; gold belt round the waist where bodice ends; white chemisette with an upright plaiting at neck, and gold necklet; sleeves of pink satin, bordered with gold, tight blue ones beneath, forming a point on either side of the hand; stomacher of white satin crossed with gold; steeple head-dress in gold color, distended with wire, long veil to feet.

Incroyable fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt

Incroyable (1789).  Short red, white, and blue skirt; blue satin coat with tails lined with red, and revers; lace ruffles; gold buttons; cravat of old lace; gendarme hat, with tricolour rosette; black shoes and buckles, blue stockings.  Old-fashioned gold-headed cane; fob, eyeglass. (Coloured Illustration, Plate VIII.) Or, striped satin skirt, red, white, and blue; gold satin tunic, looped up with red roses; handsome long-tailed coat of blue satin, lined gold, and large gold buttons, and bouquet of roses in buttonhole; high frill and jabot at throat; chapeau a la claque, trimmed gold and brocade, tricolour at side; blue silk stockings, worked in gold, and patent shoes; eyeglass, and elaborate jewellery.  Or, long-tailed coat of sky blue velvet, with large pearl buttons, and a white waistcoat of satin, embroidered with coloured flowers; a skirt of grey tulle with long tunic of soft grey silk looped up gracefully with pale blue satin ribbon; grey silk hose embroidered with coloured silk flowers; dark blue slippers, very large satin bows; powdered head tied with a queue; cocked hat, wide lace cravat; cane with gold head, quaint scissor-shaped eye-glass of the period.  This is a very favourite costume.  Sometimes the skirts are hand-painted; sometimes there are triple revers to the coat, for which plush is a good material; blue with white satin skirt, trimmed with gold, is a good mixture.

Incroyable fancy dress, 1887 England, Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt

Incroyable (1789).  Short red, white, and blue skirt; blue satin coat with tails lined with red, and revers; lace ruffles; gold buttons; cravat of old lace; gendarme hat, with tricolour rosette; black shoes and buckles, blue stockings.  Old-fashioned gold-headed cane; fob, eyeglass. (Coloured Illustration, Plate VIII.) Or, striped satin skirt, red, white, and blue; gold satin tunic, looped up with red roses; handsome long-tailed coat of blue satin, lined gold, and large gold buttons, and bouquet of roses in buttonhole; high frill and jabot at throat; chapeau a la claque, trimmed gold and brocade, tricolour at side; blue silk stockings, worked in gold, and patent shoes; eyeglass, and elaborate jewellery.  Or, long-tailed coat of sky blue velvet, with large pearl buttons, and a white waistcoat of satin, embroidered with coloured flowers; a skirt of grey tulle with long tunic of soft grey silk looped up gracefully with pale blue satin ribbon; grey silk hose embroidered with coloured silk flowers; dark blue slippers, very large satin bows; powdered head tied with a queue; cocked hat, wide lace cravat; cane with gold head, quaint scissor-shaped eye-glass of the period.  This is a very favourite costume.  Sometimes the skirts are hand-painted; sometimes there are triple revers to the coat, for which plush is a good material; blue with white satin skirt, trimmed with gold, is a good mixture.

Lady Evelyn Cavendish, later Duchess of Devonshire (1870-1960), as a Lady at the Court of the Empress Maria Theresa [1745-65], at the Devonshire House Diamond Jubilee Ball, 1897 London

The Devonshire House Ball was one of the most splendid celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. In 1892 the 8th Duke of Devonshire married the widowed Duchess of Manchester, Louise von Alten, whom he had known for many years. The ‘Double Duchess’ was a famous hostess and Devonshire House as well as Chatsworth became the focus of entertainments on a scale that had not been seen since the 6th Duke’s time. Those invited to the Diamond Jubilee Ball came in full fancy dress. The Duchess was magnificent as the Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, with a dress to match. The Duke was, rather unexpectedly, the Emperor Charles V, and his young cousin and eventual successor Victor Cavendish was also in 16th -century dress as one of Holbein’s ‘Ambassadors’.

Lady Evelyn Cavendish, later Duchess of Devonshire (1870-1960), as a Lady at the Court of the Empress Maria Theresa [1745-65], at the Devonshire House Diamond Jubilee Ball, 1897 London

The Devonshire House Ball was one of the most splendid celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. In 1892 the 8th Duke of Devonshire married the widowed Duchess of Manchester, Louise von Alten, whom he had known for many years. The ‘Double Duchess’ was a famous hostess and Devonshire House as well as Chatsworth became the focus of entertainments on a scale that had not been seen since the 6th Duke’s time. Those invited to the Diamond Jubilee Ball came in full fancy dress. The Duchess was magnificent as the Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, with a dress to match. The Duke was, rather unexpectedly, the Emperor Charles V, and his young cousin and eventual successor Victor Cavendish was also in 16th -century dress as one of Holbein’s ‘Ambassadors’.

January fancy dress, 1877 France, Journal des Demoiselles et Petit Courrier des Dames Réunis

January fancy dress, 1877 France, Journal des Demoiselles et Petit Courrier des Dames Réunis

Miss J G Hinkel, unknown date (possibly ca 1915-16?)

Miss J G Hinkel, unknown date (possibly ca 1915-16?)

"Beautiful Woman", ca 1905
Group with Miss Helen Taft, unknown date (she was First Lady from 1909 to 1913)

Group with Miss Helen Taft, unknown date (she was First Lady from 1909 to 1913)

Dolly Madison Breakfast, Mrs William F Dennis and Mrs Chase Riker, 1912
I wonder if those are Mrs Dennis’ clothes?  She would’ve been young when she wore them, but I suppose it’s possible.

Dolly Madison Breakfast, Mrs William F Dennis and Mrs Chase Riker, 1912

I wonder if those are Mrs Dennis’ clothes?  She would’ve been young when she wore them, but I suppose it’s possible.

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