Good Wednesday to you all! I hope you are doing well and happy! I am hard at work working on the "Women in Sports" wardrobe for the fashion show that will have the same name. The first installment is the Edwardian Fencing Outfit, which I will be blogging about when I get the jacket completed! The Turkish bloomers are completed and they are super comfortable and adorably ridiculous!
But, I wanted to share with you my newest acquisition! For one of my Victorian Underwear Education Programs, I am planning a "Dressing The Victorian Bride" program and have been slowly adding to my sweet antique and vintage Bridal/Wedding collection. Today, in the mail, came my newest prize!!!!! After assaulting the mail man because he was being too slow getting my package to me, I hunched my back to protect the package from the rain and felt not a little bit like Gollum as he hunched over the ring, whispering "My Precious, My Precious" to it. Heavens, I must have been a sight!! (Ok, so I didn't truly assault the mail man, but I was standing by the mail box jumping up and down, clapping my hands like a 3 year old as he drove up. Yes, he does know that I am that special kind of crazy and still delivers my mail!!! God love him!)
I ran inside and my children gathered around me to see what new and fabulous gem Mother had uncovered and it did not disappoint! Out of the seriously fabulously packaged USPS box came this beauty!!!!!
A Victorian Orange Blossom Wedding Headpiece.
I am not certain how old she is, but from the image pasted to the original box, I am guessing she could be quite old.
The images on eBay did NOT do her justice! The long tendrils were very unceremoniously wrapped around the headpiece and sort of smashed.
I pulled the piece out of the box and began unwinding it and discovered that, yes indeed, those were tendrils, very similar to the ones in these fashion plates and photographs from the Victorian Era (One from the collection of one of my readers, Melinda Kovacs!!)
Le Follet 1875 (From Melinda Kovacs)
The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine 1871 (From the Los Angeles Public Library)
Victoria of Baden's Wedding portrait 1881 (From Grand Ladies)
This photograph is from my collection. It shows a lovely bride in a not-white bustle dress wearing an orange blossom headpiece with long tendrils on either side of her face! Her husband has quite the fabulous boutonniere! Love it!!!
These blossoms and buds are so very interesting. The other headpieces in my collection are waxed, but these are not. The buds are an odd, super thin leather over cotton batting (yes, I sacrificed one of the small buds that fell off the piece....ACK!!!!) and the blossoms are a waxed or oiled fabric. The tendrils are wired and wrapped in paper tape and the clusters are wired then wrapped with a thick thread...must have taken FOREVER to put them together!
The veiling is silk tulle that I purchased a while ago to make a lovely long veil to go with the dress I plan on making!
This side has a lovely cluster of blossoms, buds and leaves that the tendrils are attached to.
On this side are three interesting "swooping" sort of branches...but they are attached to the whole piece without looking added on, so... I am wondering if there weren't blossoms and leaves that got taken off?
View from the top....the left side is so very interesting!
Another close up of the clusters...the leaves are also waxed or oiled... You can see here too the base of the piece that has been wrapped in heavy thread.
Pretty view from the back!
A small boutonniere came with the veil. You can see really well here the way the buds were attached. It looks and feels like brown wax was dripped at the base to resemble where the buds would have burst from the branches!
View of the "C" clasp pin back. The mechanism very closely resembles some of the very old (early bustle/NFE era) brooches in my collection.
Now comes the super cool part!! I know, the head piece is awesome, but the box...THE BOX!!!! I have never seen any bridal head piece with a box like this. Most of the ones I have seen come in a flat box that has a paper lace insert, but this one...well, just take a look!!!
The lid has this lovely early bustle fashion plate pasted to it with silver bouillon trim that has patina'd (Patinad? Changed color) over time.
The measurements are 10.5" deep, 7" wide, and 4" tall. So quite a nice big size! It is made of wood and very thick cardstock/paper, covered with a ribbed paper.
Inside is a card stock "holder" with a cotton ribbon at the top that I assume was used to tie the headpiece to the holder.
You can see here all the holes that, I would assume, were where a good sized thread was sewn around to keep the headpiece and tendrils secured to the box. I would also think that the holes at the lower right were for the boutonniere. Who knows?
At the top, I am thinking a piece of glass or something similar was added so you could see into the box. Maybe?
The only writing on the box. Wish I knew who the maker was!
Headpiece and boutonniere in the box!
Here are the other two orange blossom headpieces in my collection...
This one came to me by way of a gift from a lovely friend named Melodye Kamplain. It looks like it may have come from the late Edwardian era to the 1920s. The blossoms are waxed petals and the buds are waxed dipped cotton batting.
This one has tendrils as well, but they are very much shorter.
The tendrils are made of fabric wrapped around wire and tipped with orange blossom buds.
You can see a good view of the base of the headpiece that is wrapped with thread...so cannot imagine doing this!
Headpiece might be from the 1930s/1940s? This next piece I won in another eBay auction about 7 years ago. It is not as lovely as the first two, but still makes me very happy as I am sure it crowned the head of a happy bride!
The flowers are made of wax, but the buds are a bead like material.
Sadly, the right side arch of the piece is missing quite a few blossoms. The shape of this piece reminds me of the heart shaped hats of the 1940s. Perfect for a wedding!
This too is wrapped in a thick thread.
Lastly in my orange blossom collection are these sweet clusters I found in an antique store in Port Townsend last March. They have a few blossoms and a plethora of buds. I may use them on the bodice of my dress when I get it made for decoration. You never know!
I also used some clusters of orange blossoms to decorate my Elizabeth Bennet Wedding Bonnet.
Thank you for sharing my newest find with me! Needless to say, I am very happy with her. Oh!! And I almost forgot the best part of the whole transaction....After nervously keeping an eye on the auction for 5 days, I won her for a whopping $19.99. That's right. Nineteen dollars and ninety-nine cents!!!!! It was mis-labeled and in a very weird place, so I can only assume that's why no one else bid. But I am soooooo NOT complaining!!
If you want to read a little about Orange Blossom wedding headpieces, go here.
I also have a Pinterest page Tiaras: Orange Blossom
I hope you all have a most wonderful rest of your week!