Christening Gown

This white infant’s dress with short raglan sleeves was made by African American dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley for her goddaughter Alberta Elizabeth Lewis-Savoy in 1866. The neckline has two rows of casing with a narrow gathering ribbon. The center back opens with ribbon ties and a placket. The back waist is detailed with four rows of gathering ribbon and the front waistband is covered with lace, which is partially stitched down. A full skirt with twenty pleats is gathered to the waistband. Handmade Bucks point bobbin lace trims the sleeves and hem.
Object Name
dress, 1-piece
Object Type
Christening Dress
Entire Body
date made
Lewis, Alberta Elizabeth
Keckley, Elizabeth
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
bobbin lace (overall production method/technique)
center back: 38 1/2 in; 97.79 cm
hem width: 60 in; 152.4 cm
inseam arm to hem: 34 1/2 in; 87.63 cm
waistband: 16 1/2 in; 41.91 cm
place sewn
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Clothing & Accessories
African American
American Enterprise
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Ida M. Savoy Anderson
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America

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