10 results for month: 04/2013


Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 21

Another of the Kathleen Kennedy collection.Here we have a black wool crepe, close fitting coat dress with a black crepe lining, princess seaming, two front seam pockets, shoulder pads and pleated shoulder, fold-back collar, and three one-inch button front closure. There is no label in this dress. This is a very smartly tailored dress. I admire Mrs. Kennedy’s sense of style. Help us properly care for and preserve these artifacts.  Learn more about how you can help.  Click here.

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 20

Continuing with the Kathleen Kennedy collection. This is a beautiful grey linen coat-dress with peach silk lining, short cuffed dolman sleeves, fitted bodice, front-pleated skirt. It has twelve, self-covered button front closure (one button missing, also missing belt), a 1-inch stand-up collar, and keyhole front.  The dress is 46" back length from base of collar to hem.  The label is from, Jack Huston, California.   I wasn't able to find anything on a search of the label.  It’s a very stylish, up-scale, business or afternoon organizing committee dress.  I would guess it’s from the late 1950s or ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 19

We jump to the 1950’s, and a piece from the Kathleen Kennedy collection.  This is a navy blue, faille taffeta, 3/4 cuff sleeves, unlined, calf-length flared coat.  The coat closes with a single hidden hook-eye at the neck.  It has a 1.25" Mandarin collar, dolmen sleeves, and two front angled welt pockets.  Label: Sunkissed, made in California, Frederick & Nelson, Seattle.  Back length, 42.5" from back of collar to hem. Kathleen Kennedy and her husband lived on 6th Street at J, across from Sutton Park.  I didn't know Mrs. Kennedy, but it is clear from the collection of clothes she left to ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 18

Next to the 1884 “Second Day” outfit, this is my favorite discovery.  It is a jewel of a 1920’s flapper dress! The black-on-black, scoop-necked, beaded silk dress is calf-length with a beaded overdress that has a zig-zag hem.   The under dress of silk has sheer front and back bodice panels to the hip; the front bodice panel has a center 6-snap closure.  Top side panels of crepe form the shoulder, ¾-length sleeve, and visible side sections.  A satin a-line underskirt attaches at the hip down to a deep hem which shows beneath the overdress. The beaded overdress is jumper-like; attached to the under dress at the ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 17

At last, a dress with a label!   It has no catalog number, so we don’t know the owner or to what event she wore this dress.   The dress is floor-length of black crepe with white beads and rhinestones decorated the bodice.  It has a round neck, shoulder pads, and short sleeves.  A semi-detached cummerbund helps to fit the dress at the hip, it has three small self-fabric covered buttons to close it.  The shirt flares wide.  It would give an elegant flow when walking or dancing. A back zipper goes from just below the hip up to mid-back, there is a 6” gap between the zipper and the 4 self-covered ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 16

 Another mystery wrap is pulled from the trunk.  We have a navy blue, crushed velvet, bat-wing cape with a blue satin lining.  It may be handmade.  There is no label.   The cape has a small, stand-up collar.  The front sections are long and have welt pockets.  There are arm loops on the underside to help keep it on the wearer.  The back is shorter with a rounded hem. There appears to be a adhesive patch on the inside which may mean this cape was cataloged at one time.  I have looked through the old catalog book, but can’t find anything that comes close to describing this, though most of the ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 15

An unknown woman between 5’4” and 5’6” wore this handmade, floor-length, black velvet dress with a sheer damask blouson front bodice.  The sheer front has velvet roses over a black lining.  The sleeves are also in the sheer fabric, they are close fitting with a 3-snap closure at the wrist.  The back of the dress is of black velvet which crosses over and closes with hook-and-eyes. The dress has a cummerbund style waist piece. The long skirt gathers slightly at the waist, it falls narrow and straight about two-thirds down and then flares with gussets.  I think this is called a tulip skirt.  The total length of the ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 14

Next out of the trunk is this exquisite black velvet coat with fur collar and cuffs.  It has a brightly patterned red silk lining.  I believe it is calf length.  There is black cord patterned embroidery decoration at elbow and side patches.  Left over right cross two-button closure.  No label. My first guess would put the coat in the 1920’s.  On the other hand, it is in such good condition that I am skeptical.  There is a catalog number for a coat that has no description; the other clothes in that donation are from the 1950’s.  Research anyone?   Help us properly care for and preserve ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 13

 Charles A. Ratcliffe came to Cheney in March 1884 to represent the Frank Brother implements firm.  For those unfamiliar with Cheney history, Mr. Ratcliffe’s implement business evolved to in a Ford automobile dealership which was a fixture of Second Street in the downtown for over 100 years.  The Ratcliffe family was certainly influential in the development of Cheney, and Charles Ratcliffe served in the state legislature in the early 1900s.  But back to our story…….. In 1884, he was engaged to marry Louise Anne Bressler of Belleville, Illinois, but after seeing the primitive country here Charles wrote a letter to his ...

Discoveries in Cataloging: Opening the Big Trunk 12

This must have been a fabulously beautiful handmade iridescent two-tone purple silk robe with attached ruffle shawl collar.  It has half-length kimono sleeves with two rows of ruffles.  There are two ties for closing the robe with a button hole in one side of the robe front for one tie to thread through. It has five rows of ruffles at bottom.  The inside of the robe is purple, while outside is a deep purple giving an over-all iridescent look as the fabric moves.  The robe is in very poor condition as the silk fabric is shredding apart.  One tie is detached.  Even with careful handling, I can feel the fabric tear ...