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Culture:textile: England, Europe or Japan; garment: Massachusetts; Hadley/North Amherst area
Title:dress
Date Made:circa 1881
Type:Clothing
Materials:textile: black (now faded) plain weave silk (taffeta); brown twill weave cotton lining; incised shell buttons
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Hadley/ North Amherst area
Accession Number:  HD 2008.30.1
Credit Line:Gift of Alice Nash
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
2008-30-1_ATt.jpg

Description:
Woman's two-piece dress consisting of a basque bodice with small, standing collar and low-bustled skirt of brown silk taffeta (faded to almost black), which is both machine made and hand sewn. The conservatively-styled dress which is attributed to be the wedding dress of Lizzie Scott (1858-1927) who married John Nash (1847-1929) of Hadley, Massachusetts, on May 24, 1881. Until the early 20th century, wedding dresses were frequently not white. After the wedding, a woman's wedding dress often became her best or most formal dress, and as such, a darker color would be more serviceable and practical than one made from a lighter color. The bodice secures down the center front with 12 incised shell buttons. One long dart on either side of the front shape the bodice; there are 9 bodice seams at the side and back. The unboned bodice is lined with a rust-colored cotton twill lining. One Kleinert dress shield (possibly more modern) tacked at each underarm inside. Full-length, lined sleeves terminate in a double row of self-fabric flounces, a detail charactertistic of the 1870s or very early 1880s. The skirt has a foundation of light brown cotton (matching sleeve lining), with a modified overskirt tacked down in front, loose at the back, a holdover from 1870s skirt construction. Self-fabric pleated flounces at the skirt hem are attached directly onto the foundation skirt. The back portion of the overskirt is gathered and pleated along the skirt's vertical side seams for fullness, and along with evidence of tacking stiches and fold lines, would have produced a low bustle effect. An interior tape connecting the outside seams of the two CB skirt panels also helps to gather the widths here. The skirt opens CB with a 9.5" long placket, securing with a single button.

Label Text:
This dress was worn by Lizzie Scott (1858-1927) when she married John Nash of Hadley, Massachusetts, on May 24, 1881. The garment’s survival within one Connecticut River Valley family reveals much about late 19th-century bridal traditions. Wedding dresses were frequently a color other than white. After the ceremony, a woman's wedding dress became her best or most formal dress, with darker colors extending the garment’s life longer than one made from a lighter color. (1858-1927) when she married John Nash of Hadley, Massachusetts, on May 24, 1881. The garment’s survival within one Connecticut River Valley family reveals much about late 19th-century bridal traditions. Wedding dresses were frequently a color other than white. After the ceremony, a woman's wedding dress became her best or most formal dress, with darker colors extending the garment’s life longer than one made from a lighter color.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2008.30.1

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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2008-30-1_buttons_ATt.jpg
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