First Previous 4 OF 8 NextLast

Sarah Archer (née West), Lady Archer ('The finishing touch')

4 of 8 portraits of Sarah Archer (née West), Lady Archer

Sarah Archer (née West), Lady Archer ('The finishing touch'), by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey, published 29 September 1791 - NPG D12424 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sarah Archer (née West), Lady Archer ('The finishing touch')

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 29 September 1791
10 3/4 in. x 6 7/8 in. (273 mm x 176 mm) plate size; 11 3/4 in. x 8 1/4 in. (298 mm x 208 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12424

Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
  • Hannah Humphrey (active 1778-1822), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 718 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Lady Archer was well-known in high society and a favourite target of the satirist James Gillray for her close attention to the latest fashions. In this print she wears the riding jacket and skirt which had become the ordinary day or travelling-dress of many English women. The jacket is cut tight at the waist, slopes away at the sides like a fashionable man's coat and flares out at the back. Other details adopted from male dress include the high collar, lapels and buttoned cuffs à la marinière. To accompany her outfit, Lady Archer wears a 'top hat', popular from 1787-1791. The practical masculinity of the outfit - which surprised foreigners when worn by English women abroad - is balanced by her liberal application of rouge and the ostentatious hat feathers she has added.

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.