Evening coat made by Louvenia Price

Image for Evening coat made by Louvenia Price
Created by
Price, Louvenia, American, 1857 - 1935
Subject of
Black Fashion Museum, American, 1979 - 2007
Medium
silk velvet, silk satin, fur, and metal
Dimensions
H x W x D (On Form): 54 × 26 × 19 1/2 in. (137.2 × 66 × 49.5 cm)
H x W x D (In box): 52 × 22 × 6 in. (132.1 × 55.9 × 15.2 cm)
Type
evening coats
Place made
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date
1870-1900
Caption
This wearable work of art was handed down to the maker's descendants. Louvenia Price, who was born enslaved, continued to work as a seamstress after she was emancipated. Price made this cape for her own use.
Description
This mid-calf length evening coat is made of a deep teal silk velvet with brown fur cuffs and a black silk satin lining. A decorative black silk cord is sewn to the exterior of the garment to form swirls, floral motifs, feather motifs, and other designs popular in the late Victorian period. The sleeves begin near the wearer's elbow, creating a cape-like silhouette from the proper front. The coat closes along the proper center front with a series of hook-and-eye closures, with the hooks and the eyes alternating along the proper left and proper right sides of the opening. The proper back is shaped to accommodate a large bustle. The band collar also contains applied braid designs, and closes at the proper front neck with two (2) hook-and-eye closures. The interior fabric is quilted in a diagonal pattern, but the quilting does not show through to the exterior of the garment. There is one set-in pocket on the proper left front of the interior. Attached at the center back of the interior are two accordion-like fabric pieces and two long black ribbons, likely used to adjust the fit at the waist line and to secure the coat to the wearer's body.
Topic
African American
Clothing and dress
Emancipation
Fashion
Freedom
Slavery
Women
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Object number
2007.3.2
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title
Black Fashion Museum Collection
Classification
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Clothing-Fashion
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture