Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mourning Dress during the civil war

The lady pictured above is part of the civil war re-enactment group and plays the part of a woman in Mourning. At this time she is dressed in what she called "half mourning." The ladies would be in full mourning for a year, then 6 months in half mourning and the final six months they would wear a color like gray or lavender.
She told me that when you were in "half mourning" you would be able to add a bit of white... such as a hankerchief, white cuffs and collar. I have read other thoughts on this so don't know exactly if what she said was entirely accurate but you can decide for yourself.

Mourning dress was apparently very regimented but primarily for the upper classes. The lower classes usually had to work too hard and wouldn't have time for all this.

Queen Victoria really made a lot of the customs. They were not allowed to wear jewelry but could wear JET because it wasn't a "jewel". Another popular item was Gutta-Percha. It is made from Resin from various trees, much like rubber is made. I don't really know all the details of it but they were able to make jewelry, picture holders and other items from Gutta Percha which they were allowed to wear. Gutta Percha can be died different colors so they could die it black for mourning use.

These pictures show collections of mourning goods that the woman has put together in displays. I personally was fascinated by it. I would love to own a few pieces of it.

I have based my comments on things that the woman told me. I have seen variations of the information on the web so don't take what I say as absolute.

There are a number of places on the web where you can learn more about all of this. If interested I hope you check some out. Here are a few that I found.

One REALLY interesting thing I learned was that Gutta Percha has a modern day use too. Dentists use it! They fill root canals with it. So if you have ever had a root canal you probably own some Gutta Percha and didn't even know it. My husband was talking to his dentist about his root canal and the dentist was surprised to learn about the OTHER uses. He didn't know that. He just thought it was for dentistry.

In the near future I hope to write about miniatures again. I must get back to some of my projects and finish them.

If you have anything to add I hope you will do so in the comment section.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A step back in history

We just got home from exercise and I just realized I hadn't posted this earlier like I planned. So here is part two of three parts of our weekend activities.

This past Saturday, as part of the festival, there were displays by a number of re-enactment groups. I only took a few pictures but you can get the idea I think. You can click on each picture to make it larger so you can perhaps see better detail.

The first two pictures are of Revolutionary war soldiers. The first is an enlisted man. He is showing and demonstrating some of the items he would have needed and used.

The second picture is of an officer. He didn't look very happy but actually he was deep into a conversation at the time.

This picture is from the Civil war reenactment group. This shows a "recuiting" stand to get NY folks to volunteer for the North. No one was there when I was but I took the picture anyway.

My final picture in this group is of a woman doing bobbin lace. I own some of the bobbins but have never learned how to use them. It is a slow, patience needed, kind of art.

Come by my blog again tomorrow to see some pictures that will tell a bit about Mourning during the civil war era.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Activities

We spent our weekend, including Friday, in the town next to ours doing an antique show. This was part of a festival they have every year. This is the second time we have done a show during their festival. We weren't exactly overwhelmed with customers but did sell enough to have made it worth our while. And we probably met a lot of future customers.

Here are a couple of pictures of the things we took to sell. They don't exactly show off to their best in the middle school gymnasium. But here they are.

The days were hot and muggy so we were thankful for a few fans in the vicinity of our space. But we were also glad we got to go home each night to our cool house.

There was a lot of activity going on during the festival and I was able to get to some of it. My husband took care of our sales while I wandered around. Then I did the same for him.
Tomorrow and the next day I plan to show some of the things we saw. They are worth coming to see.