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'Grand Toilette de matin - Morning Concert Dress', May 1840

3 of 9 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Fashion Plates: Hair - Chignons'

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'Grand Toilette de matin - Morning Concert Dress', May 1840

published by Dobbs & Co, published in The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic and Lady's Magazine and Museum, first published in Le Follet, Courrier des Salons, Journal des Modes
hand-coloured etching, line and stipple engraving, published May 1840
8 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (210 mm x 149 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47856

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This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Dress of clear white muslin (organdi), corsage decolletée (low), drapé croisé, the back is plain and tight, and the fronts brought in full folds or gathers from the shoulder, it may be seen by the plate, that the side that crosses, goes very far over; the sleeves are full, with three falls of lace or trimming at the shoulder, and three rows of the same, but narrower at the wrist, and reversed, that is, those at the shoulder fall down, whilst those at the wrist, turn up. The skirt of the dress is made to appear like an open robe or tunic, a frill of muslin or lace comes down from the waist at each side, increases gradually in width as it goes down, it is then rounded off, and is carried round the entire back of the skirt; it may also be remarked, that from the rounding off, a second and a deeper flounce begins, which brings the back of the skirt to a proper length. Across the front of the skirt, are three deep flounces, figuring as an under dress; to look elegant, this robe should be worn over a clear muslin slip, which is far preferable to a satin or silk one. Inside the corsage is a lace guimpe. The hair is in bandeaux, with broad braids coming low at each side of the face and turned up again; the back hair in two chignons, which fall almost on the back of the neck. The coiffeur is made up upon a wire frame, and is composed of blue gauze, satin ribbon and blonde. The gauze is twisted over the wire that goes across the top of the head, the side puffings are likewise of gauze trimmed with blonde, the piece across the back and the bow, are satin ribbon, the lappets are of blonde. A glance at the plate where this pretty coiffeur is so well delineated, would be sufficient for any person of taste to make up a similar one; the flowers, roses and hop blossoms are only at the left side. The feronnière is of velvet, with a small jewelled clasp. The echarpe round the neck may be made of either a strip of gauze, or of satin ribbon, formed into little bows or coques at distances, four between the throat and the waist, for the lower bow belongs to the ceinture. White kid gloves; black satin shoes.

Events of 1840back to top

Current affairs

Victoria marries her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; he is given the title of Prince Consort.
The Penny Black stamp is introduced by Rowland Hill; the first pre-paid, self-adhesive stamp, it marks the start of the modern postal system.
The start of the Irish potato famine, which by the time of its peak in 1851, had caused the deaths of one million, and contributed to the sharp rise of emigration from Ireland to England and America.

Art and science

Beau Brummel, the fashion leader responsible for sparking the culture of 'Dandyism', dies of syphilis.
The first stone is laid on the new Houses of Parliament, based on the gothic designs by the architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. The old buildings had burned down in 1834, following a blaze caused by burning wooden tallies used by the Exchequer to calculate tax.


The Afghans surrender to Britain during the Afghan-British war (1839-42). The war was sparked by British fear over Russian influence in Afghanistan, with the British East India Company resolving to depose the Afghan leader, Dost Muhammad, who was insistent on Afghan independence, and restore the former leader Shoja Shah.
The Maoris yield sovereignty of New Zealand under the Treaty of Waitangi.

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