Pingat 1878 Dinner Dress

Purchased by the donor’s great grandmother, Mrs. Augustus Newland Eddy (née Abby Louise Spencer), when she was in Paris with her father in 1878. According to the donor’s grandmother, Mrs. Eddy wore this dress for a portrait painted by G.P.A. Healy. Ms. Spencer married Augustus Newland Eddy in Chicago in 1872 and she later died on January 2, 1909 in Chicago. French-born Emile Pingat opened his couture house in Paris in 1864. He quickly became one of the most famous couturiers of the nineteenth century and was a favorite among American couture clients. Mrs. Eddy purchased this extraordinarily beautiful dress during a six-month tour of Europe with her father in 1878. In her travel log, she referred to it as her party dress. Indeed, it appears it was a favorite. She wore it for a portrait by Chicago painter G.P.A. Healy and in a family photograph.

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