The Judge and the School Teacher

I had the pleasure of creating another beautiful gown for Annie D Vine prior to our leaving Oklahoma last December, unbeknownst to her, it was to be a surprise Christmas present.

Hawkshaw Fred had been in contact earlier with some details of a gown seen in the Court House Museum in Tombstone and we began discussing the Judge and School Ma’am concept.

They had seen a gorgeous bronze/copper and silver gown on display and so with what photo’s Fred had, I began pouring over the details to see how this could be interpreted for them.

Fred’s own idea was for him to portray a Judge of the time period and we discussed all things of robes, his research and ‘passementerie’ detailing.

The gown shown, belonged to a Miss Estell Maxim. She was the school ma’am n Tombstone circa.1884. From the photo’s it appears to be of a light silver grey silk with a bronze jacquard.

With similar fabrics sourced, I was ready to get to it. Not able to find an abstract design such as the diamond pattern from that era we settled on a bronze jacquard rose print that finished up quite nicely.

It features ruching to the back section, pleats/folds in an asymmetrical line to the overskirt. When part way through the construction of the skirt, I had been looking at the photos again only to realise that there appeared to be additional pleating underneath the very edge…….well of course I re-did it and added a pleated section!!!

The bodice carries the ruching in its details on cuffs, sleeve cap and front detail. The buttons were my challenge, photos only show so much and in keeping with what I could see it was determined that I should have fabric set behind a button. I managed to find a pearl and crystal button that I was happy with (after attempting, dimensional paints on others! she says rolling eyes) added a small amount of bronze paint antiqued and now I was satisfied.

Back to the Judge. Hawkshaw Fred had decided he would portray a Federal Judge, Robert Sloan. Sloan was an actual judge in Arizona and later became Governor of Arizona Territory (prior to it becoming a State).

His research took him to Judge’s robes and decided on a red lined robe, paying homage to John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. It was presumed the red was a throwback to robes worn by jurists in England.

His robe was worn over a grey suit and waistcoat, accessorized with a bowler hat, gold watch chain with a PH Dorrett watch and scarab fob. Both attached to a Sharpes four barreled Derringer carried in the waistcoat pocket. A great eye for detail, I love how Hawkshaw and Annie arrive at their costume stories with fact and great accoutrements from their antique collections!!

Along the theme of their presentation the Judge describes how Miss Maxim had requested his opinion on the content of a book recently published by a new author, Mark Twain. Miss Maxim was concerned about reading this book to her students as it contained such notions of playing hooky from school, not doing chores and fighting. Again to Annie’s credit, she was carrying an actual first edition of Huckleberry Finn!

School teachers at the time were not allowed to be married, smoke cigarettes, drink intoxicants of any kind and could definitely not be seen in any Saloon or illicit establishment for any reason. She would also be mindful that she should not be seen riding in a carriage nor accompanying any other man than her brother or father! But with a Judge? Surely no one would question her integrity!

And so we have, the Judge and the School Ma’am (or Schoolmarm). Hawkshaw Fred and Annie D’Vine won first place Best Dressed Couple at SASS World Championship, End of Trail 2019 and also at the Southeast Regional in Huntsville, Alabama.

Judge and School Ma’am
SASS World Championships, End of Trail 2019

I am so proud to have been a part of Hawkshaw’s vision of recreating this one. Congratulations to you both!

Hugs

Kat xo

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