Bling!: Gorgeous Gowns and Dazzling Dresses :
Object Name:
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circa 1890s
Dress made with two different cranberry-colored silk fabrics. The skirt, bodice arms, stand-up collar and body as well as part of braid-like fabric twist at waist are in a dark red cranberry-color iridescent (*shot) fabric with a tiny white and gray grid pattern print. The bodice front, top puff of leg-of-mutton-style sleeves, sleeve cuffs, and part of braid-like fabric twist at waist are in a fabric with a pattern in the weave of tiny teardrops and polka dots in a pinkish cranberry and pink. There is a hook and eye closure in front to collar, the front closure covered with same fabric gathered down the sender and at edges. Decorative lace gathered and sewn to the neckline and extends down the bodice front to the waistline, bottom of waistline with a braided or twist of the two fabrics that form a bow in the back. Leg-of-mutton sleeves have fullness at the top, fitted sleeve and cuff at the wrist. Gathered skirt with a gathered ruffled flounce attached to skirt bottom, hook and eye closure at back. Back placket closure has a pocket sewn into it at back seam.

Curator's note: Dress donated may have been worn by donor's mother, Madeline Dransfeld, since Carrie was born in 1891 and would have been too young to wear the dress.

*Shot silk (also called changeable silk and changeable taffeta) is a fabric which is made up of silk woven from warp and weft yarns of two or more colors producing an iridescent appearance. A "shot" is a single throw of the bobbin that carries the weft thread through the warp, and shot silk colors can be described as "[warp color] shot with [weft color]."
Shot silks were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and are used today to make neckties and other garments. (source:

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