Gown: Woman's evening three-piece reception gown in black silk faille with black corded lace over purple faille underlay, consisting of (A) bodice, (B) dickey, and (C) skirt;
(A) Fitted bodice; black corded lace with purple faille underlay extends from shoulder seams to waist in V-shape; scalloped edge of lace along V-neckline; inverted V at sides of black silk faille with two sets of princess seams; black silk satin ribbon with single pleat along its length extends from armscye to center front closure along seams of lace and purple faille to black faille; black satin ribbon bow with six poufs at center front closure at waistline; nine button closure; bound buttonholes partially concealed by lace and purple faille at proper left of closure; self-fabric covered spherical shank buttons at proper right side of closure; three hook-and-eye closure [added later]; long leg-of-mutton, set-in sleeves with fullness at top and black satin puffed ribbon with bow at upper portion of arm; fitted lower sleeve; turned-up cuff in corded lace over purple faille underlay; black corded lace and purple faille underlay in V-shaped yoke at upper back; center back and two sets of princess seams; two slits at lower back with pointed tails at sides and pleated cascading tail at center; fully lined in brown silk; boning sewn into twill casings at princess seams and side seams;
(B) High-necked dickey insert of black corded lace over purple silk faille underlay; two and one-quarter inch band collar with boning at center front; top edged in folded ruffled of cream crêpe chiffon; front portion in rectangular shape with slight taper at bottom; small rectangular panels of black silk taffeta attached to back of collar and shoulder seams; black silk faille lining; off-white linen strip applied to inner collar edge; purple silk faille applied at bottom of lining, seamed to underlay.
(C) Floor-length trained skirt primarily of black faille with large center front insert of black corded lace with purple faille underlay; black faille waistband with black grosgrain inner waistband; two hook-and-eye closures on each waistband at center back; skirt front in three panels of purple faille; short panel of black corded lace with scalloped edge over long panel of same lace with scalloped edge at hem; knife-pleated black faille trim at hem; two black silk moiré 7/8" wide ribbons extend from top of waistband to hem [proper right ribbon missing]; sides and hem trimmed with ruffle of black faille, edged in knife pleats; seam of ruffle topped with smaller ruffle with purple faille facing; skirt back in six triangular pieces with two narrow triangular inserts between second and third panels and fourth and fifth panels; hem faced in purple silk with black corduroy dust catcher.
Label: none
Date: 1897-1899

Hat: Bonnet of black velvet with cut steel ornaments, black metal sequins and black feathers; form-fitting crown of black silk velvet; black velvet is twisted and gathered at each side; center front has velvet pulled through four-sided buckle of cut steel; five inch tall narrow black feathers strung with black beads and curved wires strung with black metal sequins at front of bonnet above buckle; center back crown cut away; line of cut steel scroll motifs placed over black velvet bow just above cut-away portion; cut steel buckle at each side; black velvet ribbons at each side; glazed buckram lining.
Label: none
Date: c. 1895

Earrings: Pair of hairwork drop earrings with black enamel and gold frame, and pansy motif; small oval earrings framed with black enamel and inset frame of engraved gold; center consists of glass covered compartment containing hair-work; hair-work made of light brown hair that has been chopped and pressed into single pansy flower, stems, and leaves; hair-work on white ground; back made up of gold setting with French ear wires.
Label: none
Date: c. 1820-1850

Necklace: Jet sautoir (necklace) composed of long rope of faceted jet beads with triangular pendants at each end; starburst design in faceted and round jet beads on both sides of each pendant; fringe of round and larger faceted beads hang from pendants.
Label: none
Date: c. 1885

Brooch: Hairwork mourning circular brooch of black onyx with a cross of seed pearls; circle of black onyx with cross at center made of seed pearls; cross outlined in ridged gold; gold metal setting borders perimeter of onyx; reverse made of gold metal setting with glass covered compartment at center; compartment contains brown braided hair; thin gold chain connects at back at metal pin and loop closure; chain extends down and connects to safety pin with twisted detail at its center and knob top.
Label: none
Date: c. 1820-1850

Stickpin: Hairwork mourning stick pin with pearls and garter motif; small oval pin framed with black enamel; "IN LOVING MEMORY" in gold on black enamel, as well as garter designs at bottom end of pin; garter end extends off bottom of pin; at center of pin is a glass covered compartment framed with seed pearls; compartment contains brown hair in the shape of three plumes; gold thread ties three plumes together at one end; "E.G./died/1st Feb. 1887" engraved on backside of pin; two metal loops extend out and come together at pin end; pin has twisted detail at its center.
Label: none
Date: February 1, 1887

Miniature: Large oval hairwork pendant with miniature painting of a boy; gold metal loop at top center of pendant; oval gold frame; glass covers painted miniature of a young boy with curly blonde hair wearing a blue bowtie holding a toy; "E. Hall" lightly painted in black at the left of boy; ivory ground; opposite side has locks of boy's curly blonde hair with gold thread covered by glass; cream ribbed silk ground.
Label: none
Date: 1850-1900

Enameled Ring: British mourning hairwork ring with seed pearls, enamel, and braided blonde hair; three seed pearls set in gold with one star-cut at center and two foliate-cuts at sides; black enamel as ground for entire front side of ring; center top of ring is a compartment and opens to reveal braided blonde hair underneath glass; "In Memoriam" in gold on outside of band; "My dear Father died March 10th 1881." engraved on inside of band; hallmarks engraved on inside of band across from engraving.
Label: none
Date: March 10, 1881

Engraved Ring: Hairwork ring with belt motif and hinged compartment; gold ring with engravings on outside of band; band in shape of a belt with buckle, keeper, and belt end; hinge lays underneath belt buckle allowing top portion of band to open and reveal compartment containing brown woven hair; square metal portion within compartment has engraving of "S.L.".
Label: none
Date: c. 1820-1850


  • Title: Mourning Gown
  • Date Created: 1895/1899
  • Location Created: United States
  • Physical Dimensions: Bodice CB: 20 ½″ Skirt CB: 54″ Hat H: 9" Earrings L: 3/4" Necklace L: 96" Brooch L: 1 1/4" Stickpin L: 3 1/4" Miniature L: 4" Enameled Ring W: 3/4" Engraved Ring W: 5/8"
  • Provenance: Gown: Gift of Rhoda Osthaus Hat: Museum Purchase Earrings, Necklace, Brooch, Stickpin, Miniature & Rings: Gift of Andrea Tice in Memory of Carmelita Johnson
  • Type: Gown, Hat, Earrings, Necklace, Brooch, Stickpin, Miniature, Rings
  • Photographer: Brian Sanderson
  • Rights: © FIDM Museum & Library, Inc. Image made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, and the citations should include the URL “www.fidmmuseum.org”. For publication or press requests, visit http://www.fidmmuseum.org/about/rights-and-reproductions/ or email imagerights@FIDMmuseum.org.
  • Medium: Gown: Silk faille, silk corded lace & silk moire ribbon Hat: Silk vevlet, metal sequins, feathers, glass beads & cut-steel buckles Earrings: Gold, enamel, human hair & glass Necklace: Jet beads Brooch: Gold, onyx, seed pearls & glass Stickpin: Gold, enamel, seed pearls, human hair & glass Miniature: Gold frame, painted ivory, human hair & glass Enameled Ring: Gold, enamel, seed pearls, human hair & glass Engraved Ring: Gold & human hair
  • Object ID: Gown: 96.999.1A-C Hat: 2008.5.16 Earrings: 2008.46.180AB Necklace: 2008.5.13 Brooch: 2008.46.49 Stickpin: 2008.46.35 Miniature: 2008.46.271 Enameled Ring: 2008.46.31 Engraved Ring: 2008.46.92
  • Bibliographic References: Kevin L. Jones and Christina M Johnson. FABULOUS! Ten Years of FIDM Museum Acquisitions, 2000-2010. Los Angeles: FIDM Museum Publications, 2010.

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