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Dinner and concert or opera dresses, autumn 1837

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Dinner and concert or opera dresses, autumn 1837

published in Le Follet, Courrier des Salons, Journal des Modes
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, circa October 1837
8 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (210 mm x 150 mm) paper size
Acquired, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47728

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This portraitback to top

Also published in The Lady's Magazine and Museum, November 1837, with a description:
Dinner And Concert Or Opera Dresses. Dinner dress - Dress pink satin, ornamented at bottom with a very deep white blonde flounce, headed by a guirlande of light flowers worked in floss silks upon the dress (see plate). Plain corsage à pointe, with a revers or plain tucker of blonde round the bosom, the tucker does not meet in front, but is shown in the engraving to be attached by a small gold cord and tassels, to which it forms a pretty finish to the front of the corsage, and takes off from its plainness. The sleeves are short. Over the shoulders is a small mantelet à pointe (a new article, worn for the first time at the marriage of the Princesse Marie). It is composed of satin, and lined and trimmed with ermine; the mantelet is pointed at back as well as in front, and has a small pointed cape; half-dress cap of blonde, prettily ornamented, as shown in the plate, with flowers. This half cap consists of a riband which forms the head-piece, and two standing borders; the one nearest the face is narrow, the other wide; a full blown rose is placed at each temple; the back hair is full dressed, the front in ringlets. We recommend this style of coiffure to our fair readers, as one of the most becoming that has appeared for a long time. White kid gloves, with gold bracelets outside. White satin shoes.
Concert Or Opera Dress - Dress of rich brocaded satin, with a deep flounce of black rézille, with fringes at bottom, low corsage, and long sleeves. Large square shawl of the finest white Cashmere, with a rich border all round, embroidered in coloured floss silks. A silk fringe goes round the outside of the shawl—hat of velvet, ornamented with a bird of paradise, mouchetée (see plate), and a wreath of roses under the front. The crown of the hat is not very high, the front large, evasée, and square at the ears. Hair in bands with the ends curled. Pale yellow gloves, satin brodequins to match the dress.
The third figure gives a plainer style of dinner or concert dress: a robe of India muslin, plain corsage à guimpe, the guimpe coming higher in the neck than the corsage, and embroidered at top (see plate); long sleeves with two sabots at top, tight below. Satin hat, with a bird of paradise.

Events of 1837back to top

Current affairs

The controversial monarch William IV dies of pneumonia in June leaving no legitimate heirs, and is succeeded to the throne by his niece Victoria, one month after her eighteenth birthday.
The Registration Act of Births, Marriages and Deaths makes it compulsory for all births, marriages and deaths to be registered at a Registry Office.

Art and science

Dickens's second novel Oliver Twist is serialised in Bentley's Magazine. The story of the orphan Oliver is an attack on the Poor Law Amendment Acts (1834), a highly contentious piece of legislation which abolished outdoor relief, effectively increasing entry in the workhouse. The novel, famously made into a musical in 1968, marks Dickens as an outspoken social critic as well as a highly popular and commercial writer.


The Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin is killed in a duel with Baron Georges d'Anthès. Considered the founder of modern Russian literature, Pushkin blended Old Slavonic with vernacular Russian and was the first Russian writer to use everyday speech in his poetry. His works include Eugene Onegin.

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