• Spoon Bonnet, about 1860

    Straw bonnets such as this were worn seasonally in the spring and summer.

  • 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."

  • Men's Slippers, about 1858

    Undress or negligee dress was the term given to casual, loose-fitting clothing worn in the morning before changing in to fashionable day dress. Men's embroidered slippers (bright-colored worsted work on canvas) were very popular in the early Victorian period. Ladies magazines often included embroidery patterns for house slippers that a woman mightmake for her husband as a gift. Please note that the term Berlin Work or Berlin Woolwork comes from the fact that the best embroidery patterns came fro…

  • Cross Pendant, about 1860

    Woven hair, or plaited hair, jewelry was quite popular in the mid nineteenth century.It was sentimental jewelry in that it was used to remember loved ones who moved away, to simply recall the loved ones even if near, or to memorialize those who had passed away.Some enjoyed hair jewelry because of the lacy nature of the material.Hair jewelry could be made at home, instructions were found in Godey's Lady's Book and other popular publications, or by jewelers.Hair jewelry fell from favor by the 1880…

  • Cameo Pin, about 1860

    Cameos were generally cut from stone until the nineteenth century when shell cameos were found to be lovely and affordable.Many were cut en cameo with images of the ancients, although medieval images were also popular.This one is interesting in that it may allude to the rescue of a sailor, as the angel holds an anchor while pointing in a direction of a flailing man.Perhaps this commemorates a sea rescue.

  • Drawn Bonnet, 1845-1855

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

  • Brooch, about 1860

    This interesting brooch combines styles popular in the 1850s and 1860s, namely the bow know form with the dead gold metal (bright yellow metal that is produced without a sheen) and Etruscan filigree (delicate dots of gold that imitates Etruscan filigree decoration) that were popular primarily from the 1830s on.Etruscan filigree, really granulated drops of gold, was revived by Giulio Castellani of Britain who learned of the work from a scholar studying the ancients.He popularized the Etruscan rev…

  • Dress, 1850-1855

    An interesting, inexpensive fabric. The sleeve is a little modified from its work dress origins. This was probably the best dress of a lower middle class woman.

  • Dress, 1855-1865

    This dress appears to have been remade in order to incorporate late 1860s fashion. The sleeves suggest the 1860s; the skirt appears to have been remade, and pleated instead of gauged. The dress is pieced to make up the yardage, but in a very deliberate mirror image on each side to make it less noticeable.

  • Morning Dress, 1850-1855

    The dress was probably originally two pieces: a bodice and skirt. The basques of the bodice are now on the inside. The skirt was removed from the waistband, cut down and applied to the bodice, and green silk trimmings added.

  • Poke Bonnet,about 1850

    This shape of bonnet is referred to as a "Poke" bonnet. Poke bonnets were popular in the late 18th to mid 19th century and are characterized by a flat crown and deep, projecting brim which frames the face and extends only around the front of the hat.

  • Dress, 1840-1855

    According to the donor, this dress belonged to Geraldine McMaster Cole, who died near Cato, New York in 1860. It has a simple one piece back and a simple work sleeve. The sleeve is shirred at the seam but is straight rather than curved, indicating an 1840-1855 date. The bodice was probably originally pointed at the center front, and is now straight cut. At its current position, the waistline is quite short-waisted - might this have been used as a maternity dress, or in the late 1830s? The full s…

  • Boy's Knicker Suit, about 1860

    The jacket and sleeves of this suit are reminiscent of 1860s zouave suits so popular around the time of the Civil War. It was likely used for summer wear.

  • Lace Pin, about 1880

    Lace pins become popular in the late 1870s and 1880s as bodices began to have higher necks and included more lace on them.Lace got entangled with heavy brooches with protrusions and so lace pins, which were lighter weight and with few protrusions, were developed.They could also be pinned to the higher necks and stand collars without pulling them down, and were often worn across the collar.The black enamel and gold colored metal form is extremely popular throughout the 1880s.

  • Cotton and Wool Girl's Ruffled Dress, 1880

    Long-sleeved collar-less dress; wool-cotton blend of variegated brown and tan; red trim. Two ruffles descend from shoulders to waist, curving towards back; skirt trimmed horizontally with scallops; self-fabric overlays above hem. Red wool bias tape trim on ruffles, cuffs, scallops, and hem. Body lined with two patterns of brown checked cotton; sleeves lined with red checked cotton. Center-back opens completely; ten button closure. Home machine-made; tension on stitches variable; seams unfinished…

  • Bonnet, 1848-1855

  • Dressing Gown, 1840-1855

    This is a plain dress with a more expensive than usual lining fabric. A paper found with the dress indicates that it might be from Northeast Vermont.