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Wedding Dress

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This gown was worn by Mary Graves Montague of Williamsburg, when she married John Montague, from Sunderland, on October 7, 1830. In its present state, the gown reflects a date of the late 1830s, about 1837, and is an excellent example of the reuse of wedding gowns. Unlike today, a wedding gown in the 18th and much of the 19th centuries would not necessarily have been white. A wedding gown was usually a woman's best gown, worn after the wedding to important events. Fabric was expensive, and remaking of clothing was practiced by people of all economic levels. The large gigot sleeves, pleated into a dropped armhole, have been banded at the top, visually "shrinking" the sleeves that reached their largest size in 1836. The gown is made of a pea-green silk taffeta, and lined with a cloth that resembles pina cloth, or pineapple fiber.


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