Sunday, January 26, 2014

High Flying Eagle

My head is in the clouds about this new find - a patriotic eagle!

I have a bit of an unusual hobby: attempting to pair up extant mid-19th century artifacts with the period publications that supplied the pattern. It's even better when I can manage to purchase the item, like the nightgown I recently received.

The yoke of the nightgown is adorned with extravagant  braidwork in an eagle design - a very popular motif during wartime, the Civil War specifically.

Here's the pattern, as published by  W. F. Sherwood & Co. of Chicago Illinois, circa 1865, in a mmanufacturer's sample book of embroidery and beading patterns - Sherwood's Impression Powder and Perforated Patterns, For Printing all Kinds of Designs for Braiding, Embroidery and Beading.

The entire pamphlet is available at the Antique Pattern Library, a fabulous site with hundreds of publications from a large variety of eras - all for FREE - although donations are accepted and encouraged.

I found it interesting that the nightgown was in Canada; the seller was not able to provide any provenance for the garment having purchased it at a "jumble sale". It would be lovely to know if the nighty was created in the States and migrated to Canada or did the pamphlet itself do the traveling?

The maker did not use the suggested cuff pattern and used a different motif (not in the pamphlet) of what appears to be a dove taking a nosedive on the back yoke - possibly some type of political comment?

I've been  in progress on my own nightgown for quite some time now, using a Sherwood design, although not the eagle pattern - maybe some year I'll be able to share that with you!