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‘Walking Dresses in April 1807’ (Evening or Ball Dress and Walking or Carriage Costume)

1 of 56 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Fashion Plates: Activities and occasions - Carriage dress'

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‘Walking Dresses in April 1807’ (Evening or Ball Dress and Walking or Carriage Costume)

published by John Bell, published in La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
hand-coloured etching, published 1 May 1807
8 1/2 in. x 4 3/4 in. (215 mm x 121 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47509

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the issue for April 1807:
No. 1. – An Evening, or Ball Dress. A round dress of soft white muslin, with short train, slashed sleeve, and square bosom, made to sit close to the form; embroidered round the bottom and bosom with a delicate border in silver. The shawl drapery, formed of a large square of pink patent net, embroidered in correspondent border of silver; which, by crossing the back, and being confined with a brooch on the left shoulder, forms the tunic drapery (now so much in esteem) by the aid of a single pin only. Silver cord and tassels, suspended from one side of the figure. Large diamond brooch in the centre of the bosom, continued in a chain to the bottom of the waist. Drawn tucker of Mechlin lace. Hair in dishevelled curls on the crown of the head, flowing in ringlets towards the left ear. Bandeau of diamonds finished in the centre in the form of a cockle-shell. Earrings of a similar form; armlets and bracelets of blended pearl and hair. Pink satin shoes, trimmed with silver fringe, White kid gloves, rucked.
No. 2. – Walking, or Carriage Costume. A French coat of imperial satin, or twill sarsnet, of a lavender-blossom, or light lilac colour; bordered at the wrist, and entirely round the coat, with a brocade ribband of the shaded jonquille colour. A plain walking dress of the finest French cambric, or jaconet muslin, scolloped at the feet in the form of shells; two rows of open hems, or work, at regular distances, immediately above it. Habit shirt of similar material, let in with rich point lace in front; with treble high collars of lace and embroidery. A small brooch of bright amber confines the shirt at the throat, and one of a larger size ornaments the gown in the centre of the bosom. A sash, the colour of the coat, tied immediately in front. Indian turban cap, or bonnet of correspondent materials, worn generally with a veil of Brussels lace. Hair cropt behind, and in simple curls in front. White sarsnet parasol, with vandyke floss fringe. York tan gloves, and kid shoes, the colour of the coat.

Events of 1807back to top

Current affairs

Act is passed abolishing the British slave trade after vigorous campaigning by hundreds of thousands of people led by Thomas Clarkson and championed in parliament by reformer William Wilberforce.
Resignation of 'Ministry of all the Talents'. Whig politician William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, Duke of Portland, succeeds as Prime Minister.

Art and science

Thomas Hope publishes Household Furniture and Interior Decoration; influential in promoting Greek and especially Egyptian models as the epitome of fashionable style.


French invasion of Spain and Portugal.
Britain occupies Copenhagen and captures the Danish fleet.
Napoleon begins to wage an economic battle against Britain, recognising the impossibility of victory at sea because of Britain's superior naval power. He aims to close the entire European coastline to British trade.

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