Smithsonian - National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Costume Collection - Women's Dresses

Browse the Collection


Dress, 1-Piece - click to enlarge

Dress, 1-Piece - click to enlarge

Dress, 1-Piece - click to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge.

Dress, 1-Piece

Catalogue number: CS*237394.004

Date: 1860-1865

Maker: Unknown


Wide blue and brown striped silk, the blue stripe containing an additional horizontal satin weave stripe; round neck with attached stand band; center front opening with 10 worked buttonholes on right side and 10 cameo buttons, with image of woman's head, set in metal, on left side; waist edge piped; two boned darts on either side of center front opening; front bodice extends slightly over shoulder and at sides into back; back cut with center piece and smaller piece at either side; dropped shoulder; wide shaped sleeve (originally this was wrist length and at a later date was folded back to inside of sleeve); both bodice and sleeve lined with brown cotton; skirt box-pleated and opens at center front, with opening covered by lapping right over left and attaching at left front waist with metal hooks-and-eyes; hem faced with brown cotton; hem edge bound with brown wool braid.


When the donor gave us this dress and other items in 1961, he informed us that they had belonged to his aunt, Mary Lucy Rice. We have yet to discover much about Mary Rice. However, the Gore family has long been in Tennessee, so we assume that the dress was probably from there. Exhibited in the Hall of American Costume 1964 to 1973.

Credit: Gift of Charles M. Gore