• Necklace and Earrings, about 1840-1875

    While amethyst is not considered a particularly rare or desirable stone today (it is a quartz and rather soft) it was much prized in the nineteenth century.Until the late nineteenth century, when Brazilian deposits of amethyst were found, amethysts were considered important stones in expensive jewelry.This is an interesting half set, as the necklace has the style and delicacy of the 1840s, but the earrings resemble those popular in the 1870s.Research has revealed that the business stamped on the…

  • Dress, about 1850

  • Earrings, about 1870

    This pair of earrings is primarily Egyptian in form and decoration. However, it does include some aspects of otherhistorical styles such as the pendant amphora.One might also offer that the knife edge work is also seen in some Greek and Roman revival jewelry.Egyptian motifs were particularly popular in Western jewelry in the later 1860s and 1870s, and these earrings are compatible with the aesthetic of that period.However, screw back earrings were not seen in this era.It seems plausible that the…

  • Jewelry Suite of Brooch and Earrings, about 1860

    This style can be referred to as bowknot jewelry, and was popular from 1850-1870.The three small jump rings at the bottom of each piece may have been used to suspend small ball drops.

  • Child's Shoes, about 1870

    These are sturdy, simple, inexpensive half-boots likely worn by a working class child. Thick, strong leather would have been uncomfortable and unforgiving for the wearer.

  • Cuff Link, about 1900

  • 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.

  • Earrings, about 1870

    These earrings are quite typical gold metal and black enamel earrings dating from about 1870.This gold metal and black enamel decoration is quite popular 1870-1890.However, the decoration on the plaques appears to be from the late 1860s or early 1870s and the length of the earrings indicates a date of the 1870.By the 1880s earrings had become shorter to prevent them from becoming entangled in lacy collars; these are too long to date from the 1880s.

  • Baseball Uniform Shirt, about 1865-1885

    By the late 1850s, baseball became an increasingly formal sport with urban teams sporting their own uniforms.The predominant style shirt of the late 1850s into the 1870s was a bib front.Typical as well, is an abbreviation of the club name on the bib.The maker of this top applied the letters "A B B C." The letter "A" signifies the club name, and it may reflect a specific town such as Akron or the club name such as "Atlantic."The letters "B B C" represent the term "base ball club," and was also ty…

  • Mens Suit, about 1880

    This morning suit belonged to Willis C. Ward. He likely used it for a wedding or other special occasion. It is exquisitely made and looks to have been rarely used.Willis C. Ward was born in 1861 to one of Michigan's wealthest families of the 19th century. His father David Ward, made his fortune in lumber and acquired and sold timbered land throughout the United States.

  • Bonnet, about 1880

    Hats made of straw, such as this example, were used seasonally as day wear in the spring and summer.

  • Watch Fob, about 1890

    Fobs are charms that dangle from the end of a gentleman's watch chain and are generally visible outside his waistcoat.Many are just decorative while others, such as this, are useful as seals, mechanical pencils, lockets, etc. The latin on this fob roughtly translates into fine follower or helpful worker, but its exact translation is unknown.It seems plausible that this was a gift to a worker or colleague for work well done.

  • Earrings, about 1880

    The earrings are likely to be gold as it would be unwise to chase plated metal so deeply.These do appear to be chased.Chasing is the process which literally removes metal in order to create decoration as opposed to engraving in which metal is pushed aside as the engraving tool works on the surface.These are somewhat difficult to date and it is unclear if they are American; however, a date of circa 1880 places the pair with other engraved/chased examples popular at this time as seen in New York w…

  • Mules, about 1870

    Mrs. Tom Thumb (1841-1918), was known variously as Lavinia Warren, Countess M. Lavinia Magri, and Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump. She was a dwarf who stood just 32 inches high. Lavinia Warren went under contract to P.T. Barnum in 1862, who indulged her preferences for fine clothing and jewelry.She married Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton, 1838-1883) in 1863 and the two toured with P.T. Barnum's Circus until Thumb's death in 1883. These fine slippers offer an indication of her size (very small) and style (…

  • Women's Boots, about 1870

    The machine stitching on these boots is extraordinarily tight and fine--fabulous. Very narrow outer sole for a long, skinny foot. They could be wedding boots. Donor Mrs. Ethel G. Douglas, of 5th Ave. in New York City, was born circa 1885 in Pennsylvania. It is plausible that these were her mother's shoes, perhaps worn at a wedding around 1875.

  • Waistcoat, about 1870

    Nice example of warm weather waistcoat.Appears to be two parallel rows of top-stitching on lapel and foreparts.Waistcoast hand sewn except center back seam.Seams with buttons on posts or links.

  • Bonnet, 1825-1875

  • Bonnet, 1825-1875

  • Parian Brooch, about 1850

    It is possible that this was used in mourning as it is without sheen, is colorless and is a wreath, a symbol generally associated with mourning and everlasting life in the mid nineteenth century.Furthermore the forget-me-nots scattered throughout the piece are often found on mourning jewelry.A curator from the Bennington Museum in Vermont stated (1964) that this was likely to be a British piece based on the configuration of specifics of the flowers--perhaps Minton.Parian porcelain jewelry was ra…