Photographer: Augustin Aimé Joseph Le Jeune
Backmark: Levitsky 22 Rue di Choiseul
Place: Paris, France
Provenance: Adelicia to her daughter Pauline Acklen Locket, unknown, purchased by Belmont Mansion Association from a photograph dealer in Pennsylvania
2016.01.60 Belmont Mansion Association purchase
This walking or visiting dress is an excellent example of the general hourglass silhouette which was popular from the 1830’s through the 1860’s. Its shape was created by the slopping shoulders, a fitted bodice which emphasized the smallest part of the waist, and an a-line skirt; these came together to create a distinctive hourglass figure. Though there were certainly variances through the decades (one of which was the gradual expansion of the skirts' berth from the 1840’s through 1860’s), this stock hourglass silhouette dominated the first two-thirds of Adelicia’s life. One thing that helps date the garment she is wearing is the slight accent in volume of the back of the skirt. Her hairstyle provides another clue, as it seems to be plaited - instead of smooth and sweeping. This style indicates that this garment as being from the 1860s. The dress's militaristic sash is also typical of the period. Feminized militaristic embellishments were extremely popular in street dress in the 1850’s and 1860’s.
This carte-de-visite was made at the Levitsky Studio, 22 Rue de Choiseul in Paris. Count Sergei Lvovich Levitsky (Russian, 1819-1898) was one of Europe’s most important photographers and innovators. In 1864, when he left Paris, he sold his studio to Augustin Aimé Joseph Le Jeune (French, act. 1864 –ca. 1885) who continued operating under the Levitsky name.
Grace M. Allen