archive photo of the week

5

Yesterday I did a special guided tour on a remarkable woman from the 18th century - Helene Cathrine Büchler (1740-1831).

Though no portrait is known of her, tons of surviving items exists, both at the manor she lived, and in museums. The biggest surprise and coolest thing is that the fabric from her wedding skirt is still at the manor. I was allowed to pull it out for the guided tour yesterday, and it’s the most beautiful thing - a floral ivory damask embroidered with ornate flowers and leafs on the hem.

Some weeks ago I found an archive photo of it from the 1960s, and I was devastated to see the skirt was fully intact, perfectly preserved - and then someone decided to remove pleats and back seam and attach it to a wooden frame. That’s how it is today.

A big chunk on fabric is missing on top, and until yesterday I’ve been in doubt of whether they actually cut off the top or just folded it in. But I did a small examination before the tour, and there is a distinct “lump” telling me they just folded it in. Which in short means this 1762 wedding skirt can be restored to its former glory, and that’s the coolest thing ever!

Here’s some sneak peeks of how the skirt is today, on its wooden frame, along with some closeups of the gorgeous silk embroidery.