Sisters?

SD CDVs 6 SD CDVs 1

I wanted to share these two photographs today because of the unusual shawl-like additions to these dresses. Although I titled the post “Sisters?” as a suggestion they may be nuns, but looking at them again, I wonder if they might have been Quakers. I’m not familiar with Quaker dress other than to say it was “unadorned” or “simple.” And nuns might have worn wimples, which these ladies are not wearing. A wrap for warmth would probably be more decorated, and at least fall a bit lower on the arms. These look like capelets or mantles, but again, I am out of my area of knowledge even there. In the upper picture (no background shown) the woman appears to have maybe a necklace on a black cord falling directly along the area where her garment meets in center front.

The photographs have no identifying information, nor do they even possess a photographers’ backmark, so I can’t tell you if they are from America, Britain, or anywhere in the world.  The only thing I can tell you with some certainty is that they are from the 1860s.

Please feel free to comment with any input. This is a mystery to me!

UPDATE: I should not be surprised, it was Iggy aka Intense Guy who found the image below, an example of Quaker dress in the 19th century. It is a modern reproduction made by The Costume Project for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, located in Shropshire, England. They state that the reproductions are made from original patterns, so I’ll have to trust that this is an accurate representation of Quaker dress in England. Being as the CDVs posted above do not have any indication of where they were made, I can only say they look similar to this example dress, but cannot suggest any sort of other connection. I spoke to some clothing historians, and they thought the cape might have been a pelerine, but having looked up what a pelerine is, I’m not so sure. It’s defined as lacy, with long narrow points hanging down in front, fur and decoration. These seem too simple to be a fashion garment and lack the long narrow points.

37-2-1840s-quaker-lady-try-on-costume-at-the-darby-houses

Image from comestepbackintime.wordpress.com and identified as Quaker dress circa 1840s

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lolly, a semi-distant cousin of yours
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 15:29:59

    Thank you for finding all these interesting old photographs. They always make me think of our grandparents and their generation – it’s a gift for all of us to think of them.

    Reply

  2. anyjazz
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 15:44:01

    These two certainly do look like the earliest of cabinet cards. Squared corners, no studio or photographer identified, uneven trimming. !860 is a good bet.

    Reply

  3. therescuedphoto
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 15:57:20

    I looked through my books, Dressed for the Photographer and 19th Century Card Photos, and I don’t find any dresses like these. Interesting!

    Reply

  4. IntenseGuy
    Apr 07, 2016 @ 05:14:10

    Reply

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