The poor dress was in such bad condition, but at least now it looks like a dress and not a dishrag. There is a label inside that says "Oppenheim & Collins, Co." This was a women's clothing store established in New York city in 1901, and in Buffalo, NY in 1905. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppenheim_Collins)
This is the front of the dress, I believe. There is an underlayer of silk that has completely disintegrated, and the brown net trim is very fragile and is staining the cream color. But the beading is fairly intact.
This is the dress from the back. I don't know if the low V was possibly lined. I am also guessing about the placement of the beaded belt around the waist. There are several snaps and hook and eyes that I cannot match up. But there was some mending done on the dress before I did any, so it is possible someone else moved things around.
The dress is really too fragile to hang up, let alone wear, and I think it will be placed back in the dresser at the museum for the next person to discover.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I spent the day volunteering at Historic Palmyra Museums, helping set up an exhibit of wedding dresses. I have always been partial to historic costume and to lace. We found this dress stuffed in a drawer in the museum, seemingly beyond hope. It made me sad- it was kind of like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This was once a beaded lace dress, maybe about 1910. After we sorted through the rest of the items in the dresser, I pulled it back out, and asked the curator if I could take it home and attempt to restore it a little. She agreed, as I really can't make it worse! Here are the before pictures....
This is what it looked like when we found it:
Now I have to figure out where the front and back are (and the sleeves, waist....)