Saturday, December 4, 2010
Photo Number 389
This is a tintype, it measures 2 inches by 3 1/4 inch. I will guess that this is from the early 1870’s. The dresses have slightly dropped shoulders and have lots of trim in the form of bows and tassels or fringe. Their hair styles are also less severe and their ears are showing.
I wonder..Mother and daughter or sisters?
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Update from Norkio:
I agree that these are 1870s dresses. The early bustle period (1869-1876) featured softly bustled dresses created with flounces, padding and pillows, not the exaggerated and structured cage bustles of the later bustle period. I also agree that these are sisters and relatively young - maybe late teens. The girl on the right has her hair down which is definitely a hairstyle of youth and an advertisement to young men of her charms and beauty. The girl seated has a faux curl dangling on her shoulder. That would have been an "add on" made from natural hair, possibly her own, that she could clip into her hair. It was designed to convey a soft and gentle femininity, and was they height of fashion to have between one and three on one side of the head.
The dresses are luxurious with lots of trims. First, the seated girl has a simple and clean look but she is not lacking in trim. Her dress has some sort of apron that comes to midthigh or even midcalf. You can just see that it goes around to the back of her dress - there's a fold of fabric in the chair. I think the apron probably goes to her knees in front, is gathered up on the sides, then back down across her bottom in back. Very clean lines. The other girl has a very feminine and flounced dress. Her skirt in back may be bustled sort of like we bustle wedding dresses today - the skirts are folded up underneath themselves, not he best description - and that creates the poufs that were desirable. I can just see the edge of something from behind her, but I can't tell what it is, some part of her dress.