Sunday, December 09, 2007

From the Establishment of G. Brodie..............


'51 Canal St, New York.....As the approach of the cold weather will render our lady friends thoughtful about their winter garments, they will, we trust, be gratified that we are at pains to afford them several styles which the modistes of Paris have prepared for the season'..............

I know I certainly would be most gratified to have received the above such 'Raglan' for my Christmas gift in 1855! Or maybe even the 'Andalusia' pictured below
We keep a library of period fashion publications here at the Museum, and I am often asked if the clothing did in fact, look like the ones advertised. I have sat for many an evening and dreamt what it would be like, to receive the latest copy of Godey's or Peterson's Lady's National Magazine...and behold the excitement when the latest fashions were 'pictured'. I wondered if they were like the fliers we get now a days.....but unlike a photograph....did the actual garments live up to their neat & precisely engraved counterparts???? All was answered for me one fall afternoon, when an older gentleman, John Brown, offered me one of his Grandmother's cloaks

I wonder if this masterpiece also once had a name? With name or without, it is a masterpiece of handiwork and design. Its quite warm, the outer shell is a lush black velvet, heavily hand embroidered. The inside lining is a quilted silk over wadded inner layer. It is pictured over a bronze plaid silk day gown, also c1855. These two most certainly could have been worn together, the gown's skirting is fully lined for winter warmth.

The tailoring and fit is exquisite, giving the privileged wearer a most becoming silhouette
2 tiers of hand knotted silk & chenille fringe are an elegant effect over the separate sleeves
It is hard to imagine the hours of hand work that went in to this fabulous cloak. And from this example, I sit and drool all the more at the others pictured in my Lady's Book for 1855..... how I would love to find an actual 'Raglan', 'Andaluisa', 'Le Caprice' or 'Mary Stuart'!!

8 comments:

Barbara said...

For some reason the plaid of the skirt and black of the shawl brings to mind "Little Women". Wouldn't any of the "sisters" have LOVED to have worn such a gorgeous set! Can't you just see some lady with her bonnet and muff to match, trucking along in fluffy snow? And aren't you LUCKY to be the proud owner now!!
Love you, Mom

Christine LeFever said...

What a beautiful treasure you have, Rachael. I may have to copy a picture of it just to hang in my art room to inspire one for my dollies.

Christine

SweetAnnee said...

Wonderful!! You always have such fun post and pics..
Merry Christmas..deena

Miss Maddie's said...

Such a beautiful cape and silk velvet I assume? Such attention to detail makes it a wonderful display piece.
Thankyou for sharing and Happy Holidays!
Susan

Lana said...

Oh Rachael! You have such beautiful pieces in your museum! I can't wait to see more!

Hallowed Hill Primitives said...

What a lovely shawl, Rachael! How is Miss Dolly? Has Christmas arrived in Trinidad? Come and chat over TEA! Sarah

Suzanne said...

Oh, how intricate! Such a beautiful piece. Came by to wish you and your family a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Sylvia Anderson said...

The shawl is just beautiful Rachael, and lucky you that your friend offered it to you for the museum! It looks to be in perfect condition too!!