Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Civil War Era CDV Hoop Dress Sisters - part I

The carte de visite (CDV) was a type of small photograph the size of a visiting card. This one shows a nice lady in a civil war era hoop dress. I'm no expert in dresses so I hope it's indeed a hoop dress.

next episode: Marrakech


  1. This most likely was a hoop skirt and see how tiny her waist is? I love these old CDV's from the Civil War era, I have a number of them from the 1860's. This one is very nice, she is a beautiful woman.

  2. Upon first glance, the dress is striking, but my, that hair must have taken forever to style!

  3. Was this a new purchase of yours?

  4. I bought this one during the summer of 2010. Finding nice CDV's at Ebay is very hard...

  5. Rob I would have to venture a guess that this is not a Civil War era photograph. There are some features of the dress that are definitely of the decade, but the hairstyle is more 1870s, as is the backdrop used.

    The CW era photographs that I have and that I have seen show much less in the background, plain backdrops, a chair or table, very de minimis. Are the corners of the card rounded or square? That is a telltale sign - in 1870s the rounded corner was introduced.

    The dress itself speaks of some wealth. The 1860s skirt could have up to 10 yards (yes 30 feet) of fabric just in the skirt. Plus this dress has several ruffles, all requiring time and more fabric. Her elaborate hair arrangement would have required quite a lot of time to accomplish and a lady's maid of some type. It is a lovely costume!

    And yes, it would have required a hoop to hold up all that fabric. :-)

  6. Aha, thank you for all the info. The corners are square, but I see your point. It doesn't look like the photos have been taken during a war-time period. And that a hoop is what we in Holland call a hoepel, that thing girls played with in the 1960s, I hadn't made that connection yet.

  7. Thanks for commenting on my blog about that old map! It's one of the best things to have come out of a basement of an old school...

    This picture caught my eye...This dress is likely from the late 1860's. Her hair is almost in an 1870's style. This would be called "transitional" because it's starting to take on the elliptical shape of the 1870's. If she stood up you'd see that her dress has more skirt gathering towards the back but isn't completely bustled.

  8. Thank you! I love it when I learn more about these CDVs of mine.

  9. Does anyone know what that chain from her chest to waist is and what is on it? thanks.


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