Portraying the Victorian Woman - Image 6

Portraying the Victorian Woman

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 Image 6

 

This woman's dress is trimmed on the sleeves near the top and bottom in either a darker color fabric, or perhaps velvet ribbon.  The dress appears to have functioning buttons.  The white collar is somewhat wider than most for the 1860's, but is perhaps held over from earlier days.  The cut of the sleeves appears to be that of the 1860's.  The collar is decorative in that it has a slight scalloped edge.  It may be white work around the edge.  There are two growth tucks near the hem of the skirt.  This woman is obviously not wearing a corset.  Her waistline is rather ample for a woman of her years, and the bosom rides at the waistline.  The bodice is gathered and relatively loose fitting indicating she is more interested in comfort than style.  Her dress has an overall neat and attractive appearance otherwise.  Her only visible jewelry is a broach at the neckline, however, she may have had a ring or earrings which did not show up in the image.  She wears a fabulous print shawl draped over one shoulder.  It is fashionably large, and was most likely multi-colored.  One can see the faint image of spectacles.  Her hair is neatly dressed in the center parted style with bun in back, and she is wearing some sort of decorated net.  It appears to have ruched ribbon around the crown of the head.  Her shoes are simple sturdy flats with square toe.  
Her husband is wearing a frock coat.  His trowsers, waistcoat, and frock coat are obviously all three of different fabric.  His trowsers are striped.  He wears a white shirt with very simple bow tie.  He carries his cane more for show and style since he could easily have had it moved out of the image once he was seated otherwise.  He wears boots with square toe and has an overall neat appearance.
 
While this couple appear to be past the age for hard work, they are obviously of middle  to upper middle class.  Perhaps he was a planter, business owner, a minister, owned a fancy dry goods store, was a confectioner or hotel owner, was a watch maker or insurance broker, perhaps he was a cotton factor, postmaster, a trader, a gunsmith or silversmith, a lumber agent, a university professor, or something of this nature.  
 

The wife may have had help about the house, but does not look to be of a station in life to be too far removed from work herself.  Perhaps she had someone to cook and do the wash while she tended to the other household tasks herself.  Perhaps she had someone come in to do the baking or other tasks which required a special hand.  She may have assisted her husband if he was a business or store owner.

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