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Morning walking dress and Toilette d'interieur, July 1839

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Morning walking dress and Toilette d'interieur, July 1839

published by Dobbs & Co, published in The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic and Lady's Magazine and Museum
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published July 1839
7 5/8 in. x 5 7/8 in. (194 mm x 148 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47760

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Walking Dress. - Redingotte of poux de soie, couleur cendre. The corsage is made to sit perfectly tight to the bust, and without a waistband. The back is plain, the fronts en châle, like a gentleman's waistcoat, with collar turned over and lappels turned back; it merely meets at the waist in front. It will be perceived that the collar and fronts are lined with buckram or some other stiffening to make them sit as in the plate. The sleeves are tight at top, confined in plaits towards the wrist, the remainder full. The skirt, which is very long and very ample has five rouleaux down each side of the front, which are continued round the bottom of the skirt. These rouleaux are put in a bunch close together at the waist, but occupy a wider space as they go down. The chemisette is of cambric, the front in set plaits, and à sabot, or small plaited frill down the front; round the neck is a lace or cambric frill. The ruffles are cambric trimmed with lace. Hat of paille de riz lined and trimmed with delicate pink crepe lisse. A bunch of roses is placed as low as possible at the right side, and a light wreath of the same crosses the brow and descends a little at each side under the front of the hat. Hair in bands. Pale yellow gloves. Black varnished leather shoes.
Sitting figure. - Toilette d'Interieur. Home Morning Dress. - Dress of white muslin: corsage demi decolletée (half high); the back has a few gathers at the waist; the fronts cross and are in large set folds or plaits: round the neck is a narrow lace. The sleeves are short and do not even cover the elbow: they are quite tight and have five double tucks (which are cut the cross way) put on as plain as possible and close together, so that the upper tuck covers the putting on of the one below it, and so on. The skirt has rather a deep flounce at the very bottom. Apron of broché silk with a flounce of the same all round and a double one at the bottom; the pockets are on the outside, rather pointed at the bottom: they are put on with a narrow flounce all round except at top. The cap consists of a mere cornet à la paysanne; the crown is like a half handkerchief plaited into form at the back: the lappets in front descend below the ears and are turned up again and fastened amidst the plaits at the back of the cap; they are considerably stiffened and in three or four deep plaits or folds. A coloured ribbon, after forming a rosette-bow in front, encircles the cap and finishes in a bow with long ends at back; a small bouquet of roses is placed at the left side. Hair in smooth bands, the ends braided and turned up at each side of the face. Bow of coloured ribbon fastening the corsage in front. Hair chain. Half-long black netting mittens.

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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