Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thoughts on Victorian Fashion

I have so much fun collecting old cabinet cards.  Where else can one capture a glimpse of history, a snapshot of past fashion, and a air of mystery in one piece of ephemera?  These two photographs have no written identification, besides the posting of the name and place of the photographer's studio.  There are quite a few cabinet cards floating about from the small town of Canajoharie, New York.  I love the postioning of the "brothers" in the above photo.  The little boys on the floor are wearing what appear to be the Buster Brown suits of the late Victorian era.  They were typically worn by young boys under the age of 10, and consisted of a short suit and bloomer pants above the knee with long stockings worn underneath.  Large bows were often worn under the neckline. 

If you look at the mother's dress, you will notice she is wearing the fashion of puffed sleaves, which were making a comeback from the 1830's during this later era.  So, I would take an estimated guess that these two lovely photographs were taken circa 1895-1898.  I really enjoy trying to narrow down the timeline.

Don't you just love the intricate designs on the back of cabinet cards?  Such beautiful sketched advertising details.
Feel free to copy any of the 3 images above for your creative endeavors.


  1. They are beautiful! But I'm not exactly sure what "Cabinet Cards" are. Some sort of advertising, I'm sure...

  2. Maureen, Thank you for introducing me to cabinet cards. I am being won over by paper! Elizabeth

  3. Aunt Amelia, yes they were more commercial versions of the CDV (carte de visite or visiting card). Not only were they family photos, but they also served as "trading cards" of celebrities, scholars, soldiers, organizations, and even baseball players. I wish I was more knowledgable about the clothing styles, as Maureen is. Beautiful cards!

  4. Such a lovely post! I adore Victorian fashions deeply as well, and though I tend to dress in more in the styles of the 40s and 50s, I often weave subtle elements of that wonderful bygone era into my wardrobe as well.

    Thank you very much for your comment, sweet dear, I hope that you have a marvelous week!
    ♥ Jessica

  5. Maureen,
    Great post! Seven children and they are all under the age of 12, (??) I could not fathom 7 children!
    Keep up the great photos. You certainly have a great secret supplier of cabinet cards!

  6. Thanks Anonymous, for answering Aunt Amelia's question. Also, thanks to everyone for their lovely comments.


Pleasant Thoughts...