Friday, May 17, 2013

Fashionable Friday - A Civil War Era Boston Belle

This unsmiling Boston woman posed for this CDV next to a fake column wearing a beautiful hoop-skirted dress.  The dress appears to be made perhaps of silk taffeta and the five rows of trim at the bottom of the skirt are absolutely striking.  The belt at her waist also appears to be made of the same material as the trim on the skirt.  The full sleeves are a work of art as well with the lovely detailing.  Look at the under-sleeves which are very also unique   The one on her left appears to have polka-dots; I'm not sure what  exactly those are supposed to be.  Also she is wearing a removable collar, possibly lace.

The unidentified woman was probably wearing her best dress when she posed for photographer "Tyler" of Boston.  This CDV was most likely made between 1864 - 1869.  I was not able to find any information about Tyler.

I  could look at beautiful dresses like this from that era all day; I'm just glad I did not have to wear them!


  1. Beautiful dress. Do you suppose the trim and belt are velvet? And what is the chain attached to the belt? Was there something attached to the chain, such as a watch or magnifying glass?

  2. makes you wonder what colors the dress was.....

    1. I don't know, what do you think, maybe brown, dark green? It's always so hard to tell.

  3. Yes, my first thought was velvet for the trim. And the chain may very well have been a chatelain which was commonly worn by women in that era which held a useful household appendage such as scissors, thimble, watch, key, vinaigrette, household seal, etc.

  4. A very attractive woman. Do you think the number of stripes on her dress has any significance? The number of year married? Household rank among sisters?

    The cuffs are very odd. Almost like the 16th century collar ruffs, useless things that only indicate that a woman did no housework. I would like to see how she ate soup while wearing them.

  5. I don't know I have never heard of anything of using using trim to signify something like that. I think the stipes are just that, stripes, but anything is possible. The dress has a modified military feel to it to me. And I pondered those cuffs for some time. They are very unusual.

  6. I have a photo of my 3rd great grandmother taken in New Orleans which looks very much from this era.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...