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Carriage Costume and Toilette d'Interieur, 1839

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Carriage Costume and Toilette d'Interieur, 1839

published in The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic and Lady's Magazine and Museum
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published June 1839
7 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in. (190 mm x 149 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47758

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Hat of pink, poux de soie, covered and trimmed with crépe lisse. The hat is not large, but even more évasée than we have yet noticed, the front being so much thrown up that nearly the entire of the top of the head is visible (see plate); there is a double border round the edge, the outer one crêpe lisse, the inner poux de soie, and the front of the bonnet is rounded at one side and square at the other. The crown is by no means high, and is rather smaller than usual at top. The trimming is of crêpe lisse, two long strips cut the crossway and twisted go across the front (see plate) and from the brides (strings); a similar piece goes along the top of the bavolet; a bunch of roses placed in a drooping position is put quite at the left side of the hat. Dress of white cashmere, merinos blanc, or white muslin (according to the season), corsage low. The skirt is ornamented with five flounces, each little more than a finger in depth, and edged with a liséré or piping; the lower flounce covers the hem at the bottom of the dress, and the remaining four are placed close, one above the other, and are put on rather plain. Green velvet spencer; this new-fashioned spencer is made to fit the bust as plain and tight as possible. It is like a corsage demi-décolletée, and shaped en coeur, low at the back, and open in front (see plate). It is fixed by a rich cameo brooch, from whence a row of small gold buttons reaches to the waist. The spencer is without band or ceinture, and cut a little longer in the waist at the centre of the front and back. The sleeves are perfectly plain at the shoulder, with three puffings beneath; the remainder full to the wrist (see plate), which is finished by a deep embroidered ruffle. Hair in long ringlets, gold necklace and cross, yellow kid gloves, black shoes, embroidered handkerchief, and parasol of broché gros de Naples.
Second, or Sitting Figure (same plate) - Toilette d'Interieur. Dress of light grey gros de Naples, corsage tight, low and en coeur; precisely the same make as that of the spencer on the other figure. The back, as may be seen by the plate, is cut so as to form a little plain jacket at the waist; the front is like that of the spencer; the sleeves are also similar. Hat of gros de Naples trimmed with crêpe lisse, same as that already described. Berthe (tucker) of guipure à l'antique; white fan.

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.


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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