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Sailor's Blouse

Probably made by George W. W. Dove, American, 1835 - 1908

Made in United States, North and Central America

c. 1862-1865

Navy blue fulled wool twill with multicolored silk embroidery in satin and stem stitches; red silk plain weave ribbon, wool tassel, metal buttons

Overall (With Sleeves Spread Out): 30 x 54 inches (76.2 x 137.2 cm) Center Front Length: 30 inches (76.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Hannah L. Henderson in memory of her husband, J. Welles Henderson, 2008

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During the nineteenth century, dress regulations for enlisted men allowed for individual creativity. Sailors thus often embellished their going-ashore uniforms with embroidery; this embroidered blouse and matching bag, (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2008-37-2), are rare surviving examples of this forgotten art form. George W.W. Dove was the 3rd Assistant Engineer aboard the U.S. steamer Richmond during the Civil War. Differences in the quality of the embroidery suggest that two people were responsible for the needlework, one of who may have been George Dove.