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Dinner and Evening Dresses, 1839

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Dinner and Evening Dresses, 1839

published in The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic and Lady's Magazine and Museum
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published January 1839
7 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in. (191 mm x 149 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47750

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This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Dinner and Evening Dresses - First figure. Dress of organdi (book muslin), embroidered in coloured worsteds; corsage en pointe and à la Sevigné with folded draperies across the bosom; the sleeves excessively short and full, but without trimming (see plate). Hair turned back entirely off the brow in the Chinese fashion, the back dressed low, in a rouleau with one small bow of hair in the centre (see plate); the wreath of roses is put on à la vestale. Long gold earrings; white kid gloves ornamented at the tops with a puffing of gauze. A bow of pink satin ribbon with long ends is placed at the point of the corsage. White silk stockings; black satin shoes.
Second figure - Dress of striped gauze, with a very deep flounce at bottom. Châle manteau or mantelet, of black satin; this shawl is rounded at back in the style of the mantelet Châles we have so frequently described; the front ends are long and finished by thick tassels. This shawl has likewise the useful accessory of a large hood, which can be drawn over the head at pleasure. It is lined with white silk and wadded. Coiffure à la Berthe. This is the most fashionable style of coiffure at present adopted in Paris. The one on the figure on our plate, is composed of black velvet, and consists merely of a narrow head-piece, deep enough to admit of its turning up in a roll in front (see plate); a deep fall of black lace is put on at the edge (bord) and hangs low at the sides, forming a kind of oreillettes. A bouquet of flowers is placed at each side. Three gold-headed pins are stuck into the roll at the left side (see plate); the front hair is in braids en fer à cheval, the back in a single braid en rouleau. Half long black silk mittens; bracelets, worn high up on the arm. Antique fan; white satin shoes.

Events of 1839back to top

Current affairs

The Bedchamber crisis strains relations between the government and the monarchy, after Queen Victoria refuses to dismiss her Whig-appointed ladies of the bedchamber at the request of the new, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. Peel resigns and Melbourne returns as Prime Minister.
The Grand National is first held at the Aintree race course, won by the horse Lottery, and the first Henley Royal Regatta, the rowing event, is held on the Thames.

Art and science

The French and British scientists Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot separately publicise their experiments with the new form of photography.
The prolific journalist Harriet Martineau publishes her three decker novel Deerbrook, the story of middle class country life.

International

The first Opium War with China is sparked after the British government refuses to try six British soldiers accused of killing a Chinese man protecting a temple from looters. Relations were strained as Britain had promoted the drug opium in China to boost trade. Winning the war, Britain secured vital trading rights.
African captives aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad revolt, resulting in a highly publicised court case.

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