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Object Name Cape
Date ca. 1890-1905
Description Woman's short cape of rust-brown wool with brown velvet attached capelet, embroidered black net overlay, and black beaded trim. High ruffled collar of brown velvet with three hooks and eyes at neck. Ornamented with five brown velvet rosettes: two at front opening, one at each shoulder, and one at back of neck. Lined with iridescent red-green silk. Cloth label inside neckline: " AU BON MARCHE / Maison A. Boucicaut / 23.174 T. PARIS 48". The label refers to the Paris department store founded by Aristede Boucicaut in the 19th century.
Keywords: Fashion, Late Victorian, Gilded Age, La Belle Epoque, New York)
Acquisition Gift of the Estate of Katherine Seaman
Ownership and History This cape came to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1945 as part of a large collection of clothing and household items from the estate of Miss Katherine Seaman; it was likely worn by members of the Seaman - Benham family of Greenridge, Staten Island. Katherine Seaman was the granddaughter of Captain Timothy Green Benham and the niece of Admiral Andrew E.K. Benham, both of the U.S. Navy. She was born in the Benham family home on Arthur Kill Road in Greenridge. The house and much of its contents were destroyed by fire in 1897, after which the family built a new home near the same site. Ms. Seaman was a member of the Staten Island Historical Society and the Bird and Nature Club, and was active in American Red Cross work.

Earliest Date 1890
Latest Date 1905
Subjects Clothing & dress
Lexicon Sub-category Clothing -- Outerwear
Associated People Seaman, Katherine S.
Catalog Number C01.1307
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by The Coby Foundation, 2009.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.