Rose Wilder Lane Necklace Collection in De Smet, South Dakota

Rose Wilder Lane was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s only daughter. Rose was also a successful writer in her own right. She encouraged her mother to write in her later life. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society has a number of Rose’s possessions in our collection, including some of her necklaces. It is important to study these items because we can learn so much about the person and the time period in which they were worn.

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We recently asked Dr. Laurel Wilson of Missouri to provide some insight and commentary on some of the necklaces that Rose wore and we now have in our collection.

Keep in mind that Rose was a very well-dressed and well-traveled young women. Her homes were beautiful and we’ve featured photographs of her Danbury Connecticut home here on our blog before. Her kitchen was even featured in national magazines!

In short, Rose was stylish! These necklaces give us an idea of the fashions that were popular during the time periods that Dr. Wilson helped confirm with her research.

Dr. Laural Willson is a Professor Emerita of the University of Missouri where she taught courses about the history of costume and textiles and curated the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection. She is currently a volunteer at the Boone County Historical Society and on the Collections Committee. We are very thankful to Dr. Wilson for her insight on these necklaces. Whenever possible, she has provided us with references to similar necklace styles.

The four strand pink through cranberry necklace is likely from about 1958 and worn into the 1960s. Reference: Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. Ed., Joanne Olian. Dover Publications, Inc.: NY. 2002, p. 90.

Dr. Wilson said, “The four strand pink cranberry necklace is likely from about 1958 and worn into the 1960s.” Reference: Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. Ed., Joanne Olian. Dover Publications, Inc.: NY. 2002, p. 90.

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Dr. Wilson said, “The necklace in which large black beads are separated by small clear beads is probably mid-1960s.”

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Dr. Wilson said, “The multiple strand brass(?) bead necklace might be from Albania since Rose Wilder Lane traveled there and lived there for a time during the 1910s and 1920s. I could not find any examples of a similar necklace in any of my references or online.”

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Dr. Wilson said, “The spiral brass (?) wire necklace might also be Albanian but I did not find anything similar online. It could as easily be another Eastern European piece. The Greeks have used spirals in their art and jewelry in ancient times but I have no evidence about early 20th century jewelry.”

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Dr. Wilson said, “The rhinestone necklace is Ca. 1960. I found a similar example in a prom photograph dated 1960.”

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Dr. Wilson said, “The double strand, small brass (?) bead necklace is ca. 1955.” Reference: Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Ed., Joanne Olian. Dover Publications, Inc.: NY. 2002, p. 41.

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Dr. Wilson said, “The triple strand white bead necklace is ca. 1956-57.” Reference: Everyday Fashions of the Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. Ed., Joanne Olian. Dover Publications, Inc.: NY. 2002, p. 73.

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One comment on “Rose Wilder Lane Necklace Collection in De Smet, South Dakota

  1. Oh how interesting! Thanks so much for sharing – am especially fond of the pink cranberry necklace! Beautiful!

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