I knew I saw something peeking out of her bodice when I saw her sale listing.... ah but its really wedged in there....so we will come back to this later!
Dolly is fully dressed as a Ladye would have been in the time, so we must carefully remove each layer of her ensemble, to finally reach her bare legs. I have taken off already her caplet/fichu/pelerine and collar, and have turned her on her tummy with toes only extending out past the edge of the counter. One of her legs is fully detached, the other partially, as she is leaking bits from both pantaloon legs. Under her quaint pink print gown, she wears an absolutely marvelous robins egg blue polished cotton petticoat! Her gown is in two pieces, with bodice and skirting separate. Rarely have I seen a period gown of human type that is separate in this era~ but given dolly's milliners type rigid hard stuffed kid body, one would not be able to get the gown on her if it was once piece. Milliner's type bodies are one piece, meaning no joints at the arms or legs, hips or knees or elbows~ they cannot sit poor dears....they stand tall and proud their entire lives.
The back of the skirting was pin'd closed, so pin was removed and skirting carefully shimmied off. I am careful to not just pull out her legs from the pantaloons, as I do not know the extent of the damage, and am trying to keep as much wood fill in place as I can. Her petticoat is just marvelous! marvelous marvelous! It has a single hammered hook and eye closure at the waist. The fabric is pleated to a narrow twill tape waistband.
The cloth is not only polished, but heavily sized and very rigid~ off of dollye it retains her waist shape fully without collapsing.
When wiggled, it has a very distinct sound....Im trying to place it exactly but cant a the moment....it sounds like heavy paper rustling...or if one has a heavy linen sheet out on the dry line, and the wind blows and snaps it back and forth~ that sound.
Hook and eye are hammered flat
Quite a short back opening, I really had to shimmiy this back and forth ever so careful to get it over her behind/hips.
This is inside the waist, looking down at the front , waistband is at the very bottom of the picture.
This weeks Museum Monday lucky number is 893! This little hanky came in the same lot as 902 that we covered a few Mondays ago~ its utterly charming and has been cut down from a larger kerchief and seamed on two sides.
Inked in the upper corner is 'A Pott' over a 12, the number 12 not necessarily denoting a year date, but more likely a laundry marking, telling us it was 12th in the owners stash of hankies!
If you enjoy Museum Mondays, please choose a number between 1-950 and post in the comment section~ Ill add it to the jar and pick one randomly for next week's post!
This new Ladye has found her way here to her new forever home. She is huge~ 26" tall, and all original on her kid milliner's model body, and I just couldn't be more excited to share her with you all~
Upon her arrival, as the tea was brewing for our long awaited chat, as she stepped out of her traveling carton.... oh no! What is this I see gently sifting down from her skirts? Poor girl is a trail of wood chips leaking from her detached legs! So instead of a single hello greeting, she has agreed to let you all follow along as we carefully remove her many layers to repair her legs~ a common problem with this early type of body. So check back often for a very special journey to meet this Grande Ladye~
1850-5 Embroidered Black velvet Mantilla, 31.1998.15
If you were a fashionable young ladye in the mid 19th century, to keep up with all the latest fashions, there was no greater an anticipated arrival...well, other than ones beau, than the latest edition of Godey's Lady's Magazine. Of coarse there were others....World of Fashion, Sartain's, Petersons, Akermann's Repository ...but Godey's was the most popular and widespread fashion publication here in the US. It came out monthly, and along with stories there were recipes, music, current events, ideas for household amusements, embroidery and craft patterns....and at the very back, before the advertisements, usually 2 hand colored fashion plates and several pages of engravings of the latest styles. They were highly coveted by those that were fortunate to subscribe. Ladies would save them up and take to the book binder to have bound into book volumes. Above is the latest style of mantilla 'The Andalusia" , which bears close resemblance to this weeks Museum Monday lucky number 31!
This piece holds a special place in my heart, as one of the first permanent pieces in my collection. I used to run an ad in the paper when we lived in Maine for any old clothings, and was offered this piece from its original family in Machias, Maine. Its hand stitched of plush black silk velvet, with allover black silk embroidery and fringes, center front hook/eye closure and lined in a quilted silk wadded with wool, making it the perfect covering for a walk in the brisk fall air.
The black is very hard to photograph, but there are separate pagoda sleeves set in very low~ there is absolutely NO picking up ones arms in this! Any bending of the arm or movement was done from the elbow down.
While the back is not cut in quite as deep of a V as the Raglan , above, it does have the same long fringe treatment....so our mantilla is rather a hybrid of the Andalusia & the Raglan. Let's see what the September 1855 issue of Godey's has to say about the Raglan....
" As the approach of the cold weather will render our Lady friends thoughtful about their winter garments, they will, we trust, be grateful to find that we are at pains to afford them all the information in our power as to the several styles which the modistes of Paris have prepared for the season. We commence with a beautiful article fashioned of royal purple velvet. It adjusts itself to the figure closely as far as the waist, thus presenting a remarkably elegant contour; three fold box pleats start from this point with fine effect; the balance of the skirt sweeps in a circular manner forward, over and in advance of the arm at the bend of the elbow, thus forming a covering for it. The front falls in tabs cut nearly square, but rather drooping towards the forward edge. The manner in which the trimming ornaments the upper portion will be understood at a glance; it is arranged similarly in front. We need scarcely observe that it is composed of a rich guipure lace with massive fringe. The lining is of satin, beautifully quilted in an elaborate design."
Our mantilla does not have any lace, and here, you can see the embroidered sleeve~ its set into the body of the coat right at the fringe there. The shine of the black silk embroidery, along with the pattern itself, has the look of lace against the deep pile of the black velvet.
From afar, the embroidery really looks like a lace flounce
Padded satin stitch, chain stitch, french knotts were worked to make this beautiful design, similar to many published each month in Godey's...which I think, is just as entertaining to read today, as it was 161 years ago!
Recently a customer ordered a set of slate frames and when I asked how she wanted them painted, she said "Paint whatever makes you happy". Is that awesome or what?? I have always loved blackwork embroidery~ the early 17th c style~ not the cross stitch that folks think of today that is labeled as such. Early blackwork is basically done in outline stitch, with any shading done in speckling or fil turk. If you have followed my blog for some years...you may remember I did an inked jacket based on this coif quiet a while ago. Along with this coif, the V&A has several fragments of what is believed to be a jacket, in same pattern. I drafted my own version of the pattern using all the pieces and some others found held privately. I have wanted to make a painted version for f-o-r-e-v-e-r...and so, I took the opportunity to paint up a blackwork slate frame.
The design is first drawn on by hand with india ink using a dip pen...(did you that steel tip pens were in use in the early 1720s?.....most think of them as replacing quills in the late 19thc)
After I have the outlines on, then I go back and add black shading~ I really love how it came out...I think an entire box would look stunning! The slat on the bottom is without shading, the top slat is finished.
I left all the pictures large on this post today, so you can click on them to see details easier~ This is a large frame, and looks quite nice just hanging out when not in use. I am totally jealous of my customer having a blackwork frame and I think I may need to paint me one....in the mean time, I made up a thread palette set~
using a fragment of same pattern~ I think a must have for anyone who loves blackwork embroidery! If you are interested in it, or would just like to see more pictures~ it is available on eBay this week here .
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
All proceeds from Diamond K Folk Art sales (antique reproduction Folk Art, Dolls & hooked rugs) directly support the Museum, of which can be found on ETSY, eBay and the DKFA Blog~ please see the links on the sidebar. You can also mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org