This bridal outfit is the oldest known more or less complete Icelandic woman's costume in existence. It is in the general style of Icelandic festive costumes from the late 18th century to about 1800, but is extremely rich in decoration and silver jewellery.

The outfit consists of a green velvet bodice decorated with gilt braid, which is attached to a petticoat of green worsted. A short black velvet jacket goes over the bodice, ornamented with gilt braid and gilt metal thread embroidery. From the openings of the long, tight-fitting sleeves hang spherical ornamented silver gilt buttons of filigree work with pendant leaves. A pleated full skirt of heavy dark blue broadcloth is bound with red wool tape at the bottom, above which is a wide floral border embroidered in polychrome wools. The skirt has a long front opening, which is covered by the matching apron which is held in place by the long pendant girdle made of dark green velvet onto which are sewn 31 closely spaced silver gilt plaques of filigree work together with an ornate silver gilt buckle of cast work.

A chain wound around the neck consists of 53 ornate links of cast work from which is suspended a medallion of filigree work with five pendant letters: B A B H B (three letters are now missing). A blue stone in the centre is surrounded by the inscribed letters H H D and the date 1782. The heavy silver gilt shoulder chain, linking together seven circular pieces and a bar, all of filigree work, is of Scandinavian 17th- or 18th-century workmanship. It is terminated at the back by a large medal carrying the date 1537 and in front by a large cross reliquary from about 1520, both by German or Dutch workmanship.

It is possible that parts of the outfit once belonged to Sigríður Magnúsdóttir and were originally worn at her wedding in 1761, and then passed on to her daughters: Þórunn and Ragnheiður Ólafsdóttir, who wore at least part of the costume at their weddings, in 1780 to Bishop Hannes Finnson and sheriff Jónas Scheving in 1804 respectively.

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  • Title: Wedding dress
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1780/1800
  • Location: Iceland
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 1.6 kg girdle; collar; neck chain; medallion total (metalwork)

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