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'Opera Dress. Carriage Dress', March 1832

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'Opera Dress. Carriage Dress', March 1832

published by Whittaker & Co, published in La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published March 1832
9 1/8 in. x 5 7/8 in. (233 mm x 149 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47661

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Opera Dress. It is composed of pale lemon-coloured crape, over satin to correspond; the corsage is cut square, low at the back of the bust, and finished with three horizontal plaits. The front is disposed in longitudinal plaits, which meet, but do not cross; it rises on each side, so as to shade the bosom, and displaying very little of the blond lace chemisette. Béret sleeve, terminated by a manchette, à la Maintenon, of blond lace. The skirt is trimmed round the border with gauze ribbon to correspond in colour, disposed in stars, with a knot in the centre of each. The headdress is a Turkish turban, composed of emerald green and ponceau gauze, intermingled with a third kind of gauze richly figured; the end of one of these materials, terminating in a pearl tassel, descends nearly to the shoulder. The hair is parted so as to display the forehead, and arranged in loose curls, which hang low at the sides of the face. The jewellery should be of gold and pearls.
Carriage Dress. A peignoir of gros des Indes; the colour is between a fawn and an aventurine, but rather more of the latter, over a cambric high dress; the corsage of the latter, finished at the throat by an embroidered band, is disposed in small plaits, and the skirt is embroidered round the border. The peignoir made to wrap considerably to the right side, is lined with blue peluche: the corsage is of the shawl form, with a lappel of peluche. Gigót sleeves. The bonnet is blue velvet; the brim, lined with white satin, is ornamented with bands of gauze ribbon to correspond with the dress; they are placed longitudinally, and each ends in a knot on the edge of the brim. The crown is also decorated with bands, which unite in one large knot near its summit. The boa tippet and muff worn with this dress should be of sable, or Isabella bear fur.

Events of 1832back to top

Current affairs

William IV agrees to the creation of new peers in order to obtain the passage of the Reform Act, although this proved unnecessary when the Tories withdrew opposition. Male franchise is extended by fifty percent; fifty-six 'rotten boroughs' lose representation and forty-one new constituencies are created. Irish and Scottish Reform Acts are also passed.

Art and science

Mathematician Charles Babbage publishes his best selling Economy of Machinery and Manufactures. In response to recent outbreaks of machine-breaking and riots, he aimed to reveal the sources of Britain's industrial strength to the urban elite and promote institutional change.
Parliament votes funds for National Gallery buildings in Trafalgar Square.


Free land grants end for English settlers in Australia on recommendation of the leading colonisation theorist Edward Wakefield in his Letter from Sydney.
Greek independence recognised by the Treaty of London.

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