Aunt Minnie Mills

Recently a site reader suggested I take a look at an ebay auction for a cabinet card described as a wedding portrait. Of course I had to look, and you know me, I had to have it. Lucky me, I won the auction and for this week’s Sepia Saturday we’ll be looking at it.

Aunt Minnie Mills

Someone wrote on the back, identifying this as Aunt Minnie Mills. The picture was taken in 1889 and she is wearing Jane Mills’ wedding dress. The dress is described as grey cashmere wool trimmed in orange velvet. Although I have asked some of my costume historian friends for input, no one really seems to know how this might have looked. Was it burnt orange or carrot orange? We can never know. Women did select a good dress for their wedding, but nothing like the single-use white dresses we see at modern weddings. Dresses were intended for later use, such as in this instance where another woman wore the dress. Coincidentally, my Dad has a photo of my great aunt wearing my grandmother’s wedding dress. Her’s was blue. Either way, my aunt borrowed the wedding dress because she was going out for a special engagement, and I suspect that is the reason Aunt Minnie was wearing Jane’s wedding dress as well.

The photographer was Shepard on South Sixth Street, Nebraska City.

For more photographs of people dressed to go out, click over to Sepia Saturday via the button below.

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