What could be the occasion?


When posting photographs, I often wonder what was the occasion for the sitting. While photography was becoming less expensive to the masses it was still somewhat of a privilege in many areas. Sitting for a photograph was often associated with a special occasion – an engagement, birthday, graduation, birth of a child, etc. Much like today, actually. The photograph above was taken sometime in the 1880s, I believe. The dress has lovely adornment, I don’t know what those are called, but they are like opened pleats, that’s the only way I can describe them. They appear to go all the way down the princess seams from shoulder to waist. This woman also has quite a lot of jewelry on, including a necklace, pin at the throat, earrings, and something else pinned or laying (?) next to the necklace, right by the curls of her hair. It’s reflective and that’s what caught my eye. She also has on the jabot (our “turkey neck” decoration), which is probably laying over the bodice of her dress. If there is photographer information, I’ll have to find and post it later as I don’t currently see any in my files.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IntenseGuy
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:57:10

    Not only is her dress exquisite – she has some very interesting facial features too. She must of spent hours getting ready for this sitting.

    Reply

  2. Auntie Kat
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 17:28:29

    I think I figured out what is laying next to the necklace. It is part of her curl. There are two fat tube like curls coming over her shoulder. The end of one is kind of stretched out and that is what you see.

    Reply

  3. Far Side of Fifty
    Dec 25, 2010 @ 22:05:45

    I was curious about the pleating also..almost star shaped..I wonder how it was done..by hand one by one..? That would have been time consuming..I wonder if it is a kind of smocking.

    I was quite taken with the two toned buttons.
    I always wonder about the occasion too:)

    Reply

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