I wasn’t joking when I suggested we are looking at serious cuteness. The dress this boy is wearing is incredible. It has a pleated velvet skirt, velvet vest type bodice with a lace front and a large satin sash tied in a bow at the waist, then a velvet jacket on top of it all. Notice that the dress not only has a velvet collar, but a tiny white collar on top of that, which mimics the use of a detachable collar to protect the garment from the oils and dirt our skin can leave behind. He has black stockings and black shoes. I don’t know what type of needle work is on the skirt and jacket, but if it is hand done it is exquisite work. If I had a boy this would be the type of recreation I would have wanted him to wear at historical events, beyond a doubt.
The photographer was Walter in Manchester, IA. I am guessing the 1890s for this photo.