Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I've spent a fair bit of time studying mid-19th century beadwork and I was thrilled to recently acquire this very interesting example.
Fashion trends come and go and this headdress is great example of the transition occurring during the 1860's - from beads being used primarily in "crafts" and jewelry to beads being increasingly used directly on garments.
The headdress is crocheted of red wool, with distinctly different looks to the front and back. The front is loopy, resembling shag carpeting with the addition of large white satin glass cylinder beads. The beads would have been strung on the wool prior to beginning the crochet work.
The back is far smoother, to rest against the hair. There is a decorative bow at the back and ribbon ties.
I'm always trying to find surviving artifacts that can be definitively matched to published patterns from the period - if you've encountered period instructions or images of a similar headdress, please share!!!