Portrait of Elizabeth CALLAHAN

Analysis and dating by Penny Ladnier of the Costume Gallery:

This photo is a little puzzling. Her fashions are jumping around time frames.
1. The tie on her neck dates from 1860-1868.
2. The stone brooch cameo with ornate trim that she is wearing was fashionable during from 1876-1878.
3. The Bodice's straight hemline at the hips on the bodice was also fashionable 1876-1882. Interesting looking at her bodice, she has either lost weight or the bodice was loaned or given to her. It is loose at her upper arm and her waistline. She appears well corseted but the bodice waistline does not fit it. An ill-fitting bodice is a big no-no for any class of woman, especially to have a photo made. One reason could be is that she has lost pregnancy weight. Women gain weight in their upper arms and waist when they pregnant.
4. Her shirt does have a medium sized bustle. I wish this was not a 3/4 body length photo but a full body one. It might help pin down the date better. Her sitting throws the image for dating purposes. It appears that instead of the bustle cage collapsing like it supposed to do, it is riding outward. She may not be accustomed to wearing a bustle cage.
5. Her hat was fashionable during 1877. There is a good example on my website at http://www.costumegallery.com/1877/. Scroll down and look at the hats (3rd from right.) I am also seeing the hat in these images http://www.costumegallery.com/1882/Petersons/. I do not see this style hat by 1886.

I believe the photo dates between 1876-1882.

Last Update: August 22, 2013