• Girl's Dress and Jacket, about 1870

    A nice special occasion dress, worn with a blousewaist. The use of magenta and black together suggests a circa 1870 fabric - a popular aniline dye combination at the time. Also, the zouave-style jacket was popular in 1860s. The red and black silk "shag" trim on the jacket is interesting but is not a great match for rest of the piece. Overall, this girl's outfit has the feel of the bustle and puff style popular in women's dresses of the 1870s.

  • Women's Shoes, about 1860

    These shoes, commonly called slippers in this period, were likely made to match a specific outfit. They may have been made to match a wedding gown. Flimsy fabric shoes such as this were very popular, but provided no support and quickly were soiled and damaged. They were purely decorative and worn by women who were expected to stay primarily indoors and not required to do any work.

  • Cameo Bracelet, about 1860

    Cameos were traditionally carved from stone as carvers carefully worked in layers of agate, cutting away lower layers of color and leaving, in relief, layers of white or ivory colored strata.It is difficult and expensive work.In the early nineteenth century Italian carvers began carving cameos from shell, working the strata to leave white layers in relief on the cameo.This shell cameo carving reduced the price of cameos somewhat. The fineness of some of the best shell cameo cutters rivals those …

  • Bracelets, about 1850

    Woven hair jewelry was made as sentimental jewelry from at least the 1830s until late in the century but is most popular from 1845-1860.These bracelets could easily date anywhere in that era.The hair used in the creation of these bracelets is very coarse and is likely animal hair.It is possible that these were made for use in mourning.The hair is woven in bow know fashion, suggesting interwined lives and love.The jet bead in the center of the medallion could well indicate mourning or half mourni…

  • Women's Shoes, about 1875

    These are interesting shoes; likely a transitional shoes style popular just after the Civil War. They are machine sewn, but retain the straight soles that fall from favor shortly after the war. These are inexpensive, sturdy women's shoes worn by the ordinary housekeeper.

  • Satin Boots, about 1865

    Congress gaiters is a term for boots with elastic at the ankles. This style of boots is comfortable and easy to pull on and off. They were a very popular style in the mid 19th century for both men and women. At the time these were made, elastic thread was only available in black. This is why you see the black speckling in the white fabric of the gores of these boots.

  • Child's Smock, 1870-1890

    According to the source of purchase, this simple but stylish young girl's dress belonged to a family in Yonkers, New York. It is c. 1880, but entirely handsewn. In particular, the ruffles at the neck are beautifully done.

  • Red Wool Twill Child's Dress, 1860-1870

    Gored child's frock of red wool twill with black wool braid around neck, sleeves, hem. Round neck with self-piping and white eyelet machine lace; lace repeated on two-piece bishop sleeves. Three gores in front, four in back. Center-back closure has nine buttons (one decorative). Upper half lined with white unglazed cotton; lower half with glazed linen; linings sewn together. Band of white muslin at hem edge. All fabric bias-cut; hand-stitched; seam edges bound closed; magenta thread used. This i…

  • Girl's Plaid cotton Smock or Apron, 1870-1890

    Blue and white plaid cotton smock/apron. Simple one-piece construction with very large armholes and sleeves to fit over other clothing. Broad, rounded, Buster Brown-style collar. Three-button closure at upper back and buttoned self-fabric half-belt across lower back; back otherwise open. Sleeves and upper back gathered at yoke. Many stained and bleached areas on front. Machine stitched. According to the source of purchase, this young girl's smock belonged to the Linsley Simpson family of Northfo…

  • Trousers, about 1830-1870

    The pants were purportedly worn by an individual in a Shaker community.

  • Girl's Dress, 1870-1880

    This dress is notable as a homemade attempt at fashion: the colors are typical of the period, but the styling a bit naive. The piecing of the lining material is quite resourceful. The length indicates that it would have been used by a girl.

  • Girl's Dress, about 1870

    This type of dress was very popular for railroad travel after the Civil War, and was probably worn in the summertime. One wonders if it functioned as a duster; however, it appears to be fairly close-fitting.

  • Mourning Badge, about 1865

    This badge would be worn on either a hat or a sash.