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Purple silk shawl, American, ca. 1840. This shows a very effective use of changeante (iridescent) silk which would constantly shimmer and change color with each movement of the wearer. This type of subdued color was popular in the 1840s.
Striped silk taffeta dress with fly fringe trim, probably French, 1842. The dress buttons down the back with thread-covered buttons.
This dress follows the style of women's dresses of the 1840s, which had a V-shaped gathering on the front and a relatively low waist. The garment is beautifully made out of high quality silk with considerable detailing, including a faux oversleeve and undersleeve. The piping at the edges creates an interesting stylistic effect. The dress is in its original form without any apparent changes.