The title of this post is a little presumptuous, but the elegant dress worn by the young woman in this portrait reminds me of snowflakes on a deep winter’s night in New England. She’s also wearing an engagement ring, but the focus isn’t clear enough to see it in detail. Northampton is home to Smith College, and there are several other colleges in the area. Did she make this dress to wear to a winter ball?
This cabinet card portrait was made by Walter Alexander Sheldon or an assistant. Thank you to Marie Panik of Historic Northampton for identifying his studio for me.