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'London Full Dresses', November 1808

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'London Full Dresses', November 1808

published by John Bell, published in La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1808
8 1/2 in. x 5 3/8 in. (217 mm x 135 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47516

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

La Belle Assemblée, number 37. Described in the magazine:
Full, or Evening Dress. A Spanish robe and drapery of bright amber crape, worn over a white satin slip, trimmed round with a vandyke of lace, or frosted silver; a full Spanish sleeve, and fronts of blended materials the same as the dress. White satin girdle, with rich Minerva clasp of frosted silver, gold, or brilliants. A drawn tucker of fine French net. Hair, a waved crop. Shoes white satin; and gloves French kid. - A very young woman may appear in this attractive costume without any other ornament, but to those who are of maturer years this dress cannot be deemed consistent, or complete, without necklace, earrings, and bracelets of pearl, diamonds, or some delicate substitute.
An Evening Dress. A white gossamer satin petticoat and vest, with a Turkish hanging sleeve. Robe of white, rose-coloured, or grass-green imperial net, with shirt to match; the robe trimmed entirely round with Chinese or roset edging in floss silk. The under-dress confined round the waist with a large cord and tassel of silk or silver, and fastened at the bosom with a brooch of diamonds or studded silver. A Roman hood formed of point lace or French net; lappets and front of rich vandyke in antique, finished with a full bow of ribband at the pole of the neck. The hair in irregular curls on the forehead. Shoes of white Spanish; and gloves of white kid.

Events of 1808back to top

Current affairs

The 'Mary Anne Clarke affair' erupts in which Clarke, mistress of Frederick, Duke of York, was said to have used her influence with him to run a military promotions racket. Championed by radical government opponents, it ends in the Duke's resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Art and science

Sculptor John Flaxman begins Nelson memorial for St Paul's.
Richard Trevithick demonstrates model railway travelling at 12 mph.

International

After taking Portugal, Napoleon invades Spain, deposes the Spanish Bourbon monarchy and appoints his brother Joseph as the new King. The
Peninsular War then begins under Sir John Moore and Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, aiming to protect Portugal and exploit Iberian hatred of French tyranny.

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