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Spicy Wings: 1900

Spicy Wings: 1900

"Unidentified woman. Between 1873 and ca. 1916." Her noggin appropriately ovoid. From the C.M. Bell portrait studio in Washington, D.C. View full size.


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Beautiful lady, but the hat should be nailed over Edgar Allan Poe's chamber door.

I can feel them piercing me

those staring eyes. Nevertheless, she is very attractive and well turned out with all that lace work.

Propped Up

As a studio photographer from years ago, I can pretty much say that the hat looks like one that was used as a prop by the studio.

I remember using props a lot in my (unnamed famous chain 'sounds like' Nolan Bill's) and sometimes people liked to look serious.


My grandfather (born in 1895), jokingly remembered the ladies in his youth as wearing stylish "three-crow hats"! This one would have been a match, I think. On the other hand, I can't help noticing the beauty of the lace and the quality of that shantung, (maybe dupioni) silk.

However, this fashion, of wearing feathers and even birds was not embraced by all!

Fashion disaster

She's a very attractive woman. However, whoever convinced her that the hat and gloves made a fashion statement should be publicly scolded.


Keep to her left.

Are we too Serious?

One thing I've noticed (and I'm to blame too) is that in the modern day we often don't consider that people of another time may just be joking. Even with that serious demeanor they may have been kidding around. I like tiki culture and people rarely consider that the couples in those pictures were in on the joke. Maybe we need to lighten up too?

It was run over by a carriage?

I'm trying to think of an explanation for her hat. (In fairness, there are plenty of styles today that will mystify our great-grandchildren.)

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