American Tunics: 1840s Chronology--Styles

American 1840s

Figure 1.--Here we have a standard cased Dag, 1/9th plate. As with most Dags, we have little provinance on this portrait. The boy is pictured holding flowers and with some tinting along with the usual textile covred table. The unidentifued boty wears a tunic done like a front-buttoning long shirt. Notice the collar ruff and fabric belt. He wears light-colored long pants. Unlike most Dags we get to see headwear. Notice the rounded-crown hat on the table. There is some limited provinance in the plush cushion in the interior of the case. It includes the studio, but is hard to read. We do notice Newburgh, New York.

We notice various tunic styles in the 1840s. We see tunics with and without front buttons. Some tunics look more like long shirts, often done in plaid like patterns and front buttons. The boy here is a good example (figure 1). Other tunics are more like tunic suits we are more accustomed to seeing. They were done in single colors, perhaps with some band or stripe detailing. Most seem, however, very plain. We are not sure if the tunics without front buttons had back or side buttons. A good example of a tunic with front buttons is Thomas Smith. The collars were commonly some kind of white addition such as a ruff or small Eton or other shaped collar. The one constant is that the collars were not part of the tunic and were small. The boy on the previous page looks to have a small Peter Pan collar, although it is difficult to tell because the boy's tunic is such a light color.


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Created: 5:32 PM 10/6/2017
Last edited: 5:32 PM 10/6/2017