To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Victorian Kashmir Paisley Shawl

Ok, so I know that I was going to start posting TBT posts on past dresses of mine...but something happened yesterday that I have to share with you!  As costumers, I think you will appreciate the excitement that is coursing through my veins at present.

Since I started veering away from my almost strict adherence to only making NFE to 1820s dresses last year, (had to make 1863 dresses for the 150th anniversary of the Idaho Territory), I have been oogling the enormous kashmir paisley shawls of the early Victorian Era.  The colors, the intricate designs, the lovely black part in the middle of the shawl (why is that there?) and the fringe-y bits at the ends.  I pinned pins to my 1860s boards and even went so far as to search for them on eBay and Etsy.  Holy Monkey those babies are expensive!  Well, of course, they are oooooold and probably not many survived.  Right?  I was totally ok with not ever owning one.  I have other accessories that I can use with my early Victorian wardrobe anyways.

Then yesterday happened.  I had some time to kill in between having a lunch date with my husband and picking the boys up from school.  Where do I go when I want to spend time in lust, drool over things that are old, and bemoan the fact that I am not a millionaire?  That's right.  Antique World Mall.  It truly is a place of wonder and awe to me.  Just to be with things that are from another time delights my heart to no end.  I was running out of booths to peruse when my eye caught a little slip of fabric peeking out of a large wicker washing basket.  I took a step closer as my brain started to recognize what my eyes were telling it it was seeing.  Could it be?  No.... I live in Idaho...not on the East Coast where fabulous things like this reside for corn sakes!  I gingerly grasped the edge of the cloth and slowly and carefuly started to disentangle it from the quilts and blankets that were piled atop it.  As more and more of the cloth came to light, my heart started to flutter and my eyes dialated (this happens a lot in antiques and fabric stores, just in case you haven't noticed...).  I caught the whole bundle up in my hands, purse, phone, and beanie babies forgotten on the floor.  I moved to where I could spread its HUGE length out fully on the floor and began to open the whole glorious mess up.

I was literally BUZZING with excitement, wanting to laugh and giggle and burst with joy at my discovery!!  One of the owners of the mall came by and helped me to spread out the shawl.  He looked at it and said, "Huh.  Well, that's neat."  My eyebrows raised to my hair line and I studdered...."Yes.  Yes it it."  Thinking to myself, "Don't you know WHAT this is???!!!"

Then....I looked at the price tag thinking to myself, well at least I got to hold it and drool on it.  Hope the person who buys it doesn't mind the water damage.

.............

Imagine if you will, a warm 2 liter bottle of Coke that someone has inserted a Mentos into, replaced the cap and shaken up for all their might.  Now imagine all that energy is trying to escape.

That was me at that moment!!!!

OH MY GIDDY AUNT!!!!!!  

On the price tag was written....."Vintage fabric remnant $18.00"

$18.00!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever tried to keep from bursting out with great braying guffaws and crazed laughter?  Well, I must say that I was exceedingly proud of myself.  I made it to my car, shawl carefully in hand before the crazed, lunacidal maniacatic laughing began in earnest.  I think I made myself light headed from sheer giddiness.

I came home and as is my style, totally geeked out on Victorian Kashmir Paisley Shawls.  I have made a new Pinterest board you can see here.  I also did a bit of research and will be sharing that with you below.

I not only found some fabulous images of extant shawls, I also have found some beautiful paintings of ladies wearing these shawls!  Laaaaaaaa!!!!!


"In Memorium" by Alfred Stevens, 1861. Source
I LOVE this painting as it shows both my beloved mourning dresses, but also the shawl being worn by one of the ladies in mourning!!  A match made in my costuming heaven!


Fanny Holman Hunt painted by William Holman Hunt Art Blog

Wholesale Scarves has a very well written history on the Kashmir shawl craze that swept the fashion world from the early Regency Era to the mid Victorian Era.


Another delightful painting by Alfred Stevens, "Will You Go Out With Me Fido?"

Now here is my beauty!!!  It measures a whopping 60" x 129".  It is colossal and so fun!  There are a few slits in it where the shawl has slit.  Someone in the past carefully mended it and this morning I mended the rest.  I wish the colors would translate better than what I have here...


I tried to spread it out in my bedroom, but it was just too big.



On the family room floor...it's longer than the huge rug!!  I find the segrated "box" looking things at the ends interesting.  Need to research what those were for.  Just some pretty way to finish the ends?


The colors of this shawl are so very interesting.  When you look at them up close and personal, they are really not that pretty, almost, dare I say, ugly.  But taken as a whole, the colors working with the design, are a true thing of beauty!




The black silk at the center has some spots that are getting a bit thread bare.  This will be used as a costuming accessory very carefully and not very often.


 Close up of the weave.  So very small!


Back side of the shawl....I wish I knew about the lady that owned this shawl!  In my imagination, it was brought back to the states by a loving husband to his beautiful wife.  He had been on a business trip to England and this caught his eye while he passed the window of a dry goods shop.  With his wife in mind, he purchased this and knew it would look lovely with the sapphire blue silk dress he also purchased for her.  Yes, I am that sickly romantic minded....Don't judge.

Here is some more history on the Kashmir Paisley Shawl:




Well, that is it for my excitment!!  I do believe my new shawl will pair nicely with the 1840s wool mourning dress I have in the planning stage!  I sooooooooo cannot wait to get that dress done so I can play dress up!!

Be blessed my friends!

g

*Now back to our regularly scheduled TBT*

24 comments:

  1. OMW!!! Its so lovely!!! Another reason I miss the East Coast so much :) Awesome Find :) Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much MC! The East Coast does have some fabulous finds doesn't it?!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  2. That is Awesome!!! What a great find. I love that feeling of finding a treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tracey! The Treasure Hunt is one of the things I like most about my obsession with the Victorian Era! It is so much fun to find things that others don't know what they have!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  3. Oh my gooness! Oh my gooness! What a beauty! And so huuuuuge! I can't imagine being under it and not feeling like I have a tent over me. I love the border colors. Almost looks like samples of other color versions of this pattern. Awesome find, girl! *high five!*
    Val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is quite HUGE isn't it Val! And I am sure it will be very warm when I use it...The border colors and design are so very interesting. Thank you! "high five!"
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  4. That is truly gorgeous and such a lucky find! Congratulations :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Rachelle! I couldn't believe my good fortune in finding it!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  5. wahou!! What a discovery! I wish I could find something like that too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you MaiLoan! I hope you find something like this too!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  6. Oh. Em. Gee.

    Okay - you totally win. That's the most amazing purchase ever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! That is totally what I was thinking when I saw it all spread out at the store!! Oh. Em. Gee!!! Thank you Jen!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  7. Aaagh! You are so lucky to have found that! It's absolutely gorgeous and I love that it's so big. Any modern remakes of the Paisley and Kashmir shawls are so disappointingly small. Congrats on your amazing bargain find! Wish there'd be something like that to find here too... (there never is and anything worth having would most likely cost an arm and a leg and most of one's vital organs) :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good heavens! I have been in stores where a vital organ and limbs would have to be sold to purchase what is for sale! I agree with you that the ones made today are just not the same. That is with a lot of the things made back then though...they really knew how to make things of beauty!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  8. What a find! I miraculously found an 1860s chantilly lace shawl at a Goodwill Outlet with only a few snags. Yay for the ignorance of others!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooooo! I have been on the look out for chantilly lace shawls! I am so thrilled that you found one at a Goodwill! Did you feel like doing a dance of excitement when you found yours!? Yay for the ignorance of others indeed!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  9. What a wonderful find! Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so very much Edwin! I am so excited!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  10. I still say you have the "Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy" connection when it comes to antique/thrift stores! But that's ok.......I'll keep my abnormal eBay/Etsy connection! LOL!!!! Its a great find, Gina!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya, I have a pretty good relationship/magical connection with my fabulous antiques stores!! But you are still the queen of acquisitions!!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  11. Oh wow!!! a) that is beautiful, and b) $18???!

    I think that Christmas (quite a few Christmases in fact) has come early for you. Congratulations on such an amazing find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!! $18? I felt the exact same way you are feeling when I saw the price tag!! I was like "Seriously?" hahahaha!! Yay!! Merry Christmas to me! You are so right!!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete
  12. Ohhhhh *dreamy sigh*, that will be beautiful when worn and imagine the beautiful photo to capture such a treasure! It was such a lucky day for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jeanette! I am imagining fun photo sessions with this shawl and future dresses! I can't wait!
      Blessings!
      g

      Delete