Item 105492 - Helen Bancroft Hay's cameo-button striped dress, Portland, ca. 1860

Item 105492 - Helen Bancroft Hay's cameo-button striped dress, Portland, ca. 1860
Contributed by Maine Historical Society
Item 105492
Helen Bancroft Hay's cameo-button striped dress, Portland, ca. 1860
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Helen Bancroft Hay's bright moss green and dark blue silk striped dress features pagoda sleeves, which are wide at the wrist, and attached small cape called a pelerine which is trimmed with wide silk fringe, as well as front closure with ten small circular metal shanked buttons set with miniature cameos.

The buttons are reflective of the 1860s fashion for cameo jewelry with its fringed cape collar and ten glass buttons with a cameo design. Stylistically, the dress straddles the 1850s and 1860s fashion eras.

The pagoda sleeves are lined in white silk, and the skirt is lined in brown cotton with wool hem binding. The bodice shows signs of having been let out at the side seams, and a modesty panel of matching fabric inserted at the center front. The item was also lengthened at some point.

The dress was donated to Maine Historical Society in 1931 along with a matching lava brooch said to have been worn with the dress by Helen Bancroft Hay who lived from 1834 to 1900.

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