Market Lavington Museum

Black beaded trimmings

Market Lavington Museum houses a wide range of objects with a local connection. Here we have some fashionable late Victorian trimmings that were on sale in Walton’s Department Store on the crossroads in the village.(See Mr Walton’s Department Store, A part of Mr Walton’s empire?)

Queen Victoria wore mourning from the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, until her own death forty years later. It was the done thing for a widow to wear black mourning clothes for two years and those who had lost a parent to wear mourning for a year. As the months past, there was a gradual move into half mourning, which might have included sober colours, such as grey and lilac.

Beaded trimmings, such as these tassels, would not necessarily have been for mourning and might have enhanced other clothing too.

Some of the trimmings would have dangled and swished about, whilst others involved sequins attached to lengths of net, which would have been bought by the yard and sewn in place.

This little collection is not only a lovely representation of late Victorian fashion, but also reminds us that Market Lavington was a little town then, supplying a wider range of merchandise than our village shops nowadays.