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  • Date ca. 1900
  • Place of Origin Argyle, WI
  • Creator Helena Monson Rossing

A woman’s full-length robe comprised of crazy quilt blocks in many colors of velvets and satins. A large variety of embroidery stitches cover the seams. A machine quilted black satin band runs down the center front opening and around the pointed collar. Two sets of three large velvet covered shank buttons close the robe at waist and neck. Deep flounces of crazy patchwork edge the sleeves and the bottom edge of the skirt. Bible verses and sayings, in Norwegian and English, are embroidered on many patches. Black satin lining, with gold chrysanthemum print on main portion of robe.

Made by donor’s Norwegian immigrant grandmother, Helena Monson Rossing. She was born in Drammen, Norway, 1851, while family was enroute from Gjøvik in Land to Wiota, Wisconsin. She married Lars/Lewis Rossing in 1869 and ran the millinery shop in her husband’s dry good store (L.A.Rossing Store) in Argyle, Wisconsin in the early 1870s-1920’s. Helena died in 1931.

The Bible verses on the robe are the type assigned to or chosen by confirmands. The dressing gown may have been a gift from Helena to her daughter Viola in encouragement and celebration of this important personal and religious event. Viola attended Lutheran Ladies Seminary in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a year before returning home to work in the family business.

  • Materials Silk, Cotton
  • Dimensions length: 59 inches
  • Identifier / Source 1992.079.001 - Gift of Elizabeth Forell