Serious Couple, ca. 1840s-1851

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Daguerreotype of Serious Couple, ca. 1840s-1851

This photo gives us a nice glimpse of 1840s dress style details. On the website of the Rijksmuseum the image is dated 1851. The sitters might not have been so wealthy wearing outdated dresses from a couple of years back, but my guess is that the date of this photo should be earlier. The mat of the Daguerreotype photo seems to suggest this as well, but I might be mistaken.

In any case, we have a very nice example of a white sheer net pelerine with lace trim, tucked in or held in place by a buckle belt that women often wore in those days. Another really nice detail is the cord around the woman’s neck with a pen or pencil attached to it. You can see how this pencil is tucked into the belt as well. One end of the pencil is hand colored in gold. Isn’t that neat?

On many photos of that era you see women wearing those cords with pen necklaces. And I wonder: were they so industrious, always needing something to write? What were they writing about? Household admin? I hope they had more inspiring things to write about…

Nowadays we do not need a cord with a pen attached to it around our necks. I remember the days when we used to walk around with USB-stick cords, when they just came out and it was kind of ‘cool’ to wear one. But hey, why not reintroduce the pen necklace? I think it is a very elegant accessory, don’t you? What’s your favorite fashion accessory from bygone eras?

Via: Rijksmuseum

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