Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


From spot #13 in the Leather CdV Album we feature a very decorated lady! Her hair is arranged in a double crown of braids with a side curl. Her dress is covered with an item that I can only describe as a fischu, although I don’t think it is one. The item can best be compared to today’s dickie, in that it is a single piece that pulls over the head, except in this case they were worn over the bodice of a dress. I am confidant there is a name for it and perhaps one of our clothing historian visitors can enlighten us.

The photographer in this case was Bachrach of the Central Photographic Art Gallery, located at the Northeast corner of Kulaw & Lexington streets in Baltimore, MD.

UPDATE: Thanks, usermattw, for the information on the photographer. Bachrach is considered the oldest continually operating photography studio in the world! Click through to the comments for a link to their site, and while you are at it, maybe you should check out Pics of Then, which is Matt’s site, an outstanding old photo blog that I subscribe to and enjoy very much!

4 thoughts on “Fanciful

  1. usermattw says:

    Gorgeous photo! Sorry I can’t help you on the vintage clothing. But in case you aren’t familiar with the photographer, Bachrach is considered to be the oldest continuously operating photography studio in the world (according to Wikipedia), and still in the same family. http://www.bachrachstudios.com (Their current studios are elsewhere, but they were founded in Baltimore.)


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Wow that is fantastic!! Thank you for the link & info.


  2. I am not an expert…mearly and enthusiast so take my point of view with a grain of salt. I’ve seen references to fichus in the 1860-70s. If I had to guess, I’d say it was a fichu as it appears, on my computer, to be worn over the dress like a shawl. (The difference, in my mind between a shawl and a fichu is a shawl is intended for mainly for warmth and some decoration and a fichu is intended more for decoration and for covering an excess of skin showing during the day.) Dickies and collars had parts that were meant to tuck under the edge of the neck opening to give the appearance that a whole “shirt” is being worn under the bodice….like a shirt appears at the neck edge of a jacket on a man. Those were often used to convert a more evening time neckline to day time appropriate.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I am inclined to agree with you that it is a fischu, though I’d always thought of them covering bare skin. I suppose that with all clothing trends and items, they can be used in a variety of ways. I have seen some reproduction patterns for items like this but they are never named anything but the pattern number!


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