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Figured satin mourning dress || MFA Boston || c. 1890
Dress in two parts; black figured satin with all-over design of highly conventionalized scrolling leaves with pendent blossoms; fitted bodice (a) with folds of self material in front; hooked down center front; high, standing collar; long modified leg of mutton sleeves; jet-beaded trimming bands on collar, lower edge of sleeves, bands down center front and around bottom edge of bodice; (b) skirt with slight flar in front with most of fullness gathered to center back; matching self material bow below the collar.
Though the website doesn’t say so, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is a mourning gown, not only because of the colour but because of the jet trimming. It wouldn’t be full mourning, since it has fancier fabric, but all the other things point to a late mourning costume.
Mourning Tiara | cast glass and metal | 1880-1890 | Bohemia
The custom of wearing mourning dress was encouraged by Queen Victoria’s prolonged mourning after the death of her husband Albert in 1861. Formal mourning required black crepe or bombazine clothes along with ‘a few trinkets to accentuate the general sombreness of the costume’. This tiara shows that jet or its substitutes was worn at the highest level of society: only those above a certain social class would have had the occasion to wear a tiara. It is interesting that it is made of ‘French jet’, a cast glass substitute for jet. As supplies of jet were not sufficient to keep up with the demand, dark cast glass known as ‘French jet’ or ‘Vauxhall glass’ was often used.
Mourning dress, 1872-74
I’d like to draw your attention to a reblog here about the fact that this is, in fact, not a morning rather than a mourning dress. I just reblogged the information from the museum, but I always like to see your opinions :)
Mourning promenade outfit, Ackerman’s, 1818
Love that ermine!
Mourning evening dress, February 1819