Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Strawberry Dresses...Forever

Strawberry Peddler by William P. Chappel, American, 1870's - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Urgh and ack! I've been suffering from a severe case of blogging brain-freeze.  In the past month, I've halfway written about 3 different posts and gave up in disgust on all three.  The writing seems to be the issue...oh, and my complete lack of time, but to combat at least one of these problems I've decided to do a post that consists mostly of pretty, pretty pictures. This means that you get to gander at pretty dresses and other sundry artifacts while I get to lessen my feelings of blog inadequacy and avoid hurting my brain with silly stuff like research.  However, in my anal mind fluff and frou-frou still need a theme and so, ye shall have it.  This Sunday a little group of history nerds calling themselves REGAL - Regency, Empire, Georgian Afficianados League will be having a tribute to Jane Austen's novel Emma with a Donwell Abbey Strawberry Picnic.  Since I'm the co-founder I should probably be there and while I'll more than likely be wearing some of my old Regency duds I'll be imagining myself in one of these numbers reminiscent of our scarlet fruit of honor...the STRAWBERRY.

Work bag, 1669, British - Embroidered wool on linen work bag done by a young girl of age 10
(her initials, age and the date are embroidered in the bottom center).  The design includes native plants like wild
strawberry, honeysuckle and acorns.  Metropolitan Museum of Art
Court Dress,  ca. 1828, probably German - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Morning dress, ca. 1827, British - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Silk dress, 1845-1849, American or European - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Silk dress, ca.1869, American or European - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mary Todd Lincoln in her strawberry dress...read more about the dress and the popularity of
"Strawberry Parties" here - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

Dress made of Challis (soft, lightweight, usually printed fabric made of cotton, wool or later rayon)
ca. 1837-1840, United Kingdom - The Victorian & Albert Museum 
Evening Dress, Bergdorf Goodman (American), ca.1935
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Silk dress, ca.1837, American - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cotton dress, 1832 - 1835, American - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Slippers, Rosenbloom's, ca.1892, American - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Day gown - Paris, France - ca.1897 - FIDM Museum
Silk gown, 1760-1769 (made), Great Britain - V&A Museum
Evening dress, ca. 1810,  England - V&A Museum
Ball gown, ca. 1842, British - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ball gown, House of Worth, ca.1896 - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Reception or dinner dress, House of Worth, about 1883 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

American dress, about 1868 - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Embroidered bag, American, 18th-19th Century - MFA Boston
Infant's dress with strawberry printed design, 1st quarter of 19th Century, American
MFA Boston
Woman's headdress, French (worn in America), mid-19th Century - MFA Boston

And...now to end with about the sweetest thing I've ever set eyes on...friendship, teapots, kitties, and strawberries!
Child's mitten, American, mid-19th Century - MFA, Boston

Now, off to pick strawberries and dream of red dresses, or perhaps pink....


  1. I did a stint as a strawberry seller at an 18th c. event once...based on a print I have. Pretty successful, I might add. (love all the red gowns, btw)

  2. Oh wow! Do you have any pics of your strawberry seller days? I now have a million questions for you! :)