The Reception Dress

 

 

 

MR. AND MRS. GEN. TOM THUMB,
COMMODORE NUTT,
MINNIE WARREN,
P.T. BARNUM, ESQ.
 
MRS. GEN. TOM THUMBíS RECEPTION DRESS.
 
This dress was designed by Mme. Demorest, of 473 Broadway. It was ordered by Mr. Barnum, who gave carte blanche as to style and cost.
 
The material is a superb quality of taffetas, changing from amber to a silvery white. The skirt, cut en traine; and ornamented to represent the emblems of different nationalities on each separate breadth, altogether forming an elegant border round the skirt. The design in front of the dress represents Growing Corn for America; on the right, a Rose, for England, encircled by buds and leaves; on the left, Laurel, for France; and on the remainding breadths are exhibibted an Acorn in oak leaves, for Germany; a Shamrock, for Ireland; the Thistle, for Scotland; and a Vine with clusters of grapes for Italy. The designs are traced in very narrow point applique. The left side is looped up nearly to the waist in regal style, over a petticoat of white glace silk, covered with puffings of fine tulle, the divisions being traced with seed pearls.

The corsage is arranged with tiny folds of white satin, edged with Point Applique, describing a little jacket, rounded off from the stomacher. The sleeves are short and trimmed to match the corsage.
   
This dress was arranged with reference to being worn at her presentations at the Courts of queen Victoria and the Empress Eugenie, etc., and is altogether acknowledged a great success.
 


The Reception Dress - Circa 1865 - Syracuse Univ. Library, Special Collections - Disability History Museum, www.disabilitymuseum.org  (March 04, 2009)

 

 

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