Possible portrait of Amanda HESS, at age 68/69 years, taken at Lebanon Twp., Pa., around 1897/8

Analysis and dating by Penny Ladnier of the Costume Gallery:

This lady appears to be in her 60s or older. Maybe late 50s, depending on how hard of a life that she lived. The fashion that she is wearing is from1897-1898. Her sleeve puffs end where the photo fades. Fashions in the 1890s changed quickly and this high sleeve puff was worn only during the 1897-1898 span. If you scan the photo at a high resolution and zoom in, you might be able to tell this. The 1890s has always been my favorite and I can generally date them down to a year or two.

With that said, keep in mind that the older a woman the more likely she would hold on to a fashion. So the photo may have been taken later than 1898. But there is another clue. The outside frame's floral design is very detailed. This is art nouveau at its prime! It is beautiful! This style of high detailed design was used from the 1890s-1905. This frame was expensive compared to just a plain cabinet card like Lady #1's photo. Because of this outer frame, she is probably wearing her own clothing.

Last Update: August 22, 2013