I picked up this little picture frame last time I was in Alexandria, VA. I bought it because she looked pretty and friendly. To be honest, I don't buy a lot of these because sometimes the people look so sad! And they creep out my husband... but hey, it's research!
Anyway, it wasn't until I brought it out some months later, at a sewing event, that I took a good look at her outfit. Someone, who is very familiar with the 1860's, brought it to my attention that her dress looks a little incongruous to her age, with the short sleeves and boat neck. In passing, I just assumed it was an evening dress, but mid 19th century isn't my strongest era. I'm very, very much still learning.
Anybody have any ideas about this one?
Also, here is the back of her frame. Very pretty leather work! It has a hinge, so I'm assuming the other side of the frame had a second picture. I wonder what it was of.
* Update as of 12/9/10: I had not posted this originally as a dagguerotype, but I thought it smart to go back and edit this post as of new info. I had also, possibly wrongly, listed this as 1860's. Thanks Ginger, from Scene in the Past, for the new info. I don't want to put anything wrong out there!