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: 1875-1885
  • 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.

  • 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…

  • Boy's Blouse Waist and Breeches, about 1880

    According to the source of purchase, this young boy's suit belonged to the Linsley Simpson family of Northford, Connecticut. The piece is notable for its casualness and freedom of movement. It is definitely clothing made for a boy - the shirt remains tucked in, and the pants are not like Dad's. A nice, though still casual, outfit, it appears to be homemade.