dress

 
Designer
Creation date
Materials
silk, cotton lining
Dimensions
L: 51 in.
Credit line
Purchased with funds provided by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Indiana
Accession number
2003.81
Collection
Not Currently On View

This dress was probably worn by Martha Ann Bush Cleveland of Brunswick, Maine, for her wedding. 

The sleeves are in a modified leg-o-mutton style-in vogue from 1837 to 1841-in which the fullness is above the elbow rather than near the shoulder.

The simple bell-shaped skirt is made up of eight panels with a wide border of French motifs depicting a basket of flowers and a vase. The main part of the fabric is decorated in a Chinese-inspired design of a meander embedded with eight Buddhist auspicious symbols: wheel of the law, lotus blossom, conch shell, umbrella, canopy, vase, pair of fish, and endless knot.

Probably Martha Ann Bush Chandler, née Cleveland (1812-1881), Brunswick, Maine.{1} (Beverley Birks), New York, New York; purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2003.81).

{1} Information from Beverley Birks based on a note found with the dress. It is assumed that she wore it at her marriage in 1837 to Boston attorney, Peleg Whitman Chandler, a Bowdoin College graduate.
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