Wednesday, August 31, 2011

American Civil War Era Mourning Gown

Side View of the dress

Shoulder Detail

Front of the dress

Back of the dress

Full front of the dress

From the seller:

This gorgeous mid 19th century dress is made from black silk and entirely lined in black cotton. My best judgement is it is from the 1860s. The hem measures over 180 inches. The collar is made out of worsted wool cording/ rice twill cording with black glass beads. The bow appears to be made out of a ribbon and not the same fabric as the dress. It is sewn to it. This is a pretty neat piece since it still has the bow attached! There are some issues with the dress. The left sleeve is almost detached but it doesn't appear that there are any tears but only the threads are giving out. As you can see from the photos anywhere on the dress there is a brown or white spot there is a tears or that part , such as the spot on the back, is coming loose. The back seems stable and it only appeArs to be that one spot. The white you see at the very bottom is not part of this dress. It is missing 2-3 of the hook and eyes. Part of the boring on one side of the bodice is beginning to show at the bottom. I find this very neat for research as you can see what it was made of and looked like. I think that this dress may have been restored later on. It is hard to tell in the photos but part of the trim or the bodice drops below the waist. I do not know if this was reattached at sometime or if it was made this way. The hem also has twill tape sewn to the bottom. It is sewn with a zig sag stitch which to my knowledge was not around during this time period. Although again. This may have been reattched. The final problem that I cannot figure out is spots that appear to have been patched. I have seen this also on a dress ca 1850s. I think the patches are made from the original fabric because they match perfectly. These patches almost feel like plastic.

From Me:

The moment I saw the front bow on this dress, all I could think of is the scene where Scarlet declares she's too young to be a widow!

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