Watered silk cape, ca. 1865

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In the mid-nineteenth century, wide crinolines (full skirts) restricted outerwear to wraps, shawls, capes, and easy fitting garments, such as this black and brown silk tassel-trimmed cape. The wide tasseled collar forms a shawl or shoulder cape effect. Several additional visual elements contribute to the cape's interesting appearance. The wave-like pattern in the silk, known as watered silk, provide one detail; while the black and brown ombré effect mimics a striped pattern.

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