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  • Girl's Dress with Pantaloons, about 1850

    This dress is notable for its casualness and ease of movement, with the shoulders and sleeves at a natural level. It is also notable for the lower-style dress and the fact that it is made from scraps and can be altered easily. The bodice decoration is reminiscent of 1840's "points."

  • Girl's Dress, 1845-1860

    This lovely, expensive girl's dress would have been worn for very special occasions and appears to have been seldom used.

  • Brooch and Earring Set, about 1870

    Coral was a popular material in jewelry making for many years.This particular piece incorporates coral with fairly inexpensive gold plated silver.Bigger brooches and long earrings were popular in the second half of the 19th century, until they fell out of favor because they could easily rip the lace collars and bodices that became popular in the 1880's.

  • Women's Slippers, 1840-1850

    These shoes are delicate with very thin soles and tight fitting.The idea that woman who could wear such shoes were symbols of high social economy.Men ruled the outdoors, and by the grace of their husbands, women ruled the indoors.Constricting shoes helped to keep woman inside and dependant on their husbands.[Source:Rexford, Nancy E.Women's Shoes in America 1795-1930.Kent, Ohio:Kent State University Press, 2000.]

  • Women's Shoes, about 1840

    Delicate slippers such as these were used by ladies in the early Victorian period with fashionable dress. These tied on to the ankle, much as some ballet shoes do today. These types of shoes were notoriously unhealthy-- they quickly became damp and soiled, provided no foot support, and were occasionally purchased a size or two too small so that thewearer's foot appeared dainty. It was all about looking great; women were not expected to be comfortable or accommodated by their dress.

  • Women's Slippers, about 1840

    These shoes, sometimes called slippers, were used in the Victorian period for wear with a matching dress. Shoes like these were often laced on to the lower leg, sometimes elastic held them on. They wore poorly and quickly became damp and soiled.

  • Scottish Pebble Brooch, about 1860

    Queen Victoria of Great Britain adored the Scottish countryside and all things Scottish; she dressed her sons in highland dress and vacationed at Balmoral, her castle in Scotland.Scottish pebble jewelry was made from native stones (supposedly) from Scotland such as agate, chalcedony, carnelian, and bloodstone. These opaque stones were often set into silver that was rendered in the shape of ancient Scottish jewelry forms.Some quartz stones are carved in the shape of thistles, also associated with…

  • Watch Chain, about 1860

    A fine hair watch chain, exquisitly made, for a gentleman.The different colors of hair used to compose the links suggest that several family members are commemorated with the chain, so may not be used in mourning.Such chains could be made at home with instructions or made by a jeweler.These sturdy links may have been made by a jeweler who wound or wove the hair around a wire or other sturdy material.

  • Tortoise Shell and Pique Brooch, about 1865

    Tortoise shell was a much used material in small decorative accessories for many years.It is quite malleable when heated, and carefully chosen, the stock can have interesting color and mottling.In addition, it is easily carved and fine patterns can be created from it.Pique work infuses gold into the soft tortoiseshell, very much like inlay.Pique pose lays strips of gold in the surface and pique point, which this piece includes, has fine rods of gold embedded in it.Fine pique work was created in …

  • Drawn Bonnet, 1845-1855

    This fancy silk bonnet was likely worn for formal afternoon occasions.

  • Girl's Muslin Print Dress, about 1840

    Muslin dress printed with red, tan and yellow flower sprig motif. Pieced, lined bodice with round neckline and channels for bones at center front. Lawn-lined bishop sleeves. Gauging at top of shoulder, top of sleeves, and center front. Hammered wire hooks and eyes on sleeves; center-back hook and eye closures. Pleated skirt with many repaired holes. Hand-sewn. This is an early and very fashionable dress with a very high waist - mother's styling in a child's dress, including channels for bones to…

  • Women's Formal Slippers, about 1840

    The label on the slippers indicates a Paris maker known as Este. Labels from the French maker Este (later Viault-Este) are the single most common type found in shoes surviving from this era. They usually appear in plain black or white satin heelless slippers of about 1835-1865 with a tiny bow at the throat (sometimes obscured by a more elaborate rosette added later). The firm is first listed in Bottin's "Almanach du Commerce" in 1821, under "Bottiers," as "Este, pour Dames, rue de la Paix 13." V…

  • Round Gown, 1840-1845

    The detachable sleeves on this dress make for a multi-purpose bodice. The back pleating is unusual and is more common in work and plain dresses, but adds ease. The back opening and narrow sleeves are suggestive of the 1840s. This was probably the better dress of a woman who usually wore cotton.

  • Dress and Pelerine, 1840-1845

    Simplicity, rich material, and subdued color indicate that this redingote and pelerine might be of Quaker origin. The narrow sleeves, long waist and darts are typical of the 1840s, while the pelerine is reminiscent of the 1830s.

  • Dress, 1845-1847

    The simple bodice indicates that this dress was worn with a lace bertha and sleeve ruffles. The bust improvers, bodice construction and skirt are typical of the period. The dress was possibly remade from an earlier 1830s silk.

  • Quilted Petticoat, about 1845-1895

    Twill lining appears to be unevenly hand-woven.Interior seams joining the sateen andties at waist appear to be machine sewn hence the late date of the petticoat. There are more pleats near the slit at center back rendering a slight bustled affect.Lancaster, Pennsylvania area location is per dealer.This particular petticoat would have been used during the winter months for warmth.

  • Dress, 1845-1850

  • Girl's Dress, about 1840

    The high waist, flat-pleating and wide neck on this dress indicate a very early 1840s date of construction. It is an example of girl's "good" clothing parallel to adult women's styles and not necessarily accommodating a child's body and needs. In particular, the wide neck would have been chilly and difficult to keep straight, and the high waist would have been less comfortable for movement. Similarly, the very thin fabric would not have been practical for a young girl.

  • Girl's Long Sleeve Print Dress, about 1840

    White cotton dress roll-printed with with tiny red flower sprig pattern. Long bishop-style sleeves gauged at top. High waist with gathered skirt. Piped seams throughout. Appears to have been constructed from another garment: bodice pieced idiosyncratically, print oriented in different directions, and wear patterns inconsistent. Old stitches and folds visible on inside, indicating old tuck or fold had been let out in order to reuse fabric. Wire hooks and eyes on sleeves not hammered flat. Hand-se…