Today from the Leather CdV Album is a photograph of a woman made between August 1864 – August 1866. The tax stamp in this case has been cancelled by pencil marks across Washington’s face. The lady is finely dressed and my costumer friends will notice how the tops of her sleeves are trimmed. First, they have large pleats to fit the voluminous sleeve to the small armhole, then a button was sewn over the pleats in such a way as to accent the quality of the work. The sleeves look like a cross between bishop and coat sleeves; there is a large amount of fabric made to fit into small top and bottom bindings, but the cuff area is finished as a coat sleeve would have been (not a cuff) and then undersleeves were used. Her dress is of a dark color, but I do not believe it to be a mourning dress because of her white collar and undersleeves. It is lovely and probably was silk or fine wool. Her hair has a glossy sheen that to our modern eyes looks like it needs a wash, but “back then” was attractive. It was probably oiled and/or pomaded as well as not washed in modern hair care products that strip away a lot of the natural oils from our hair.
The photographer of this lady was Evans & Prince photographers in York, PA. It is interesting to note that the print number 3416 was handwritten on the back, but also just under the right hand side of her skirt on the photograph.
To see all the photographs from this collection, scroll down the categories to Leather CdV Album.