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    Wedding dress | 1840s

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    30-10-11 Wedding Dress 1841, British, Made of cotton and linen. Sarah Maria Wright (1817 – 1908) wore this dress for her marriage to Daniel Neal (1816 – 1907) on 27 July 1841 at St. Nicholas' Church in Skirbeck, Lincolnshire. It was donated together with a spelling book which she inscribed with her name on February 15th, 1826. In the 1851 census Daniel is described as living at Woad Farm House in Skirbeck, Lincolnshire, where he was probably working as a labourer in the production of woad. The dress therefore reveals the type of clothing rural labourers' wives might wear for their weddings. Such objects tend to survive in much smaller quantities than fashionable wedding dress as they would have been worn for Sunday best long after the event, or handed down. Sarah chose a fashionable design for her dress with its full sleeves, low neckline, gathered shoulders and full skirt. It is, however, made of printed cotton which would have been cheaper than the silks and challis fabrics of costlier wedding dresses. The print is a copy of more expensive designs which again adds interest as such textiles do not tend to survive.

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A totaly lovely evening dress. England around 1830. It sure would also suite me. What do you think?

Sarah Maria Wright wore this dress for her marriage to Daniel Neal on 27 July 1841 at St. Nicholas Church in Skirbeck, Lincolnshire. The dress reveals the type of clothing rural labourers wives might wear for their weddings. Such objects tend to survive in much smaller quantities than fashionable wedding dress as they would have been worn for Sunday best long after the event, or handed down.

Silk wedding dress (front), American, 1851. This wedding dress presents a conundrum: some stylistic aspects of the dress appear to be later than 1851. While the bodice has very fashionable full size pagoda sleeves, which were a new shape in 1851, the skirt with bustle, train and ruffles at bottom is more consistent with the 1870s rather than the dome shape of the 1850s. While it is possible that the skirt was re-made for a later bride, there is no obvious indication of that being the case.

Dress Place of origin: England, Great Britain (made) Date: 1838-1842 (made) Artist/Maker: unknown (production) Materials and Techniques: Silk, trimmed with silk braid, lined with cotton, hand-sewn