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New spring walking dresses, March 1840

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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New spring walking dresses, March 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 March 1840
7 3/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (196 mm x 150 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47869

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This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Dress of nut brown satin. Corsage half high, and tight to the bust. The skirt is trimmed with three rows of broad velvet ribbon, put on at distances, its own width left between. Mantelet scarf of purple velvet, wadded and lined with silk of the same colour; it is trimmed all round with very wide chenille fringe, the colour of the velvet. Hat of the primrose colour, velours épinglé. It is very deep at the sides, and the crown sits perfectly flat; the trimming is entirely of velours épinglé, with the exception of a branch of "Forget-me-not", which falls at the right side of the front of the hat. Cambric ruffles; primrose colour kid gloves; black varnished shoes.
Hat of white satin, with a bouquet of small scarlet flowers drooping over the front. Redingotte of pale lavender poux de soie. Corsage demi décolletée (half high), and fitting tight to the bust. Sleeves taken down in three places at the shoulder, the remainder excessively full. The skirt opens at the left side, and is trimmed down the front and all round with a flounce of the same silk as the dress, beginning very narrow at the waist, and increasing gradually in width till it is rounded at the bottom, where it becomes very deep; it will also be observed that the flounce itself is edged with a chenille fringe, a full half finger in depth. Hair in bands, with flowers underneath the bonnet; collar of guipure, fastened with a rich cameo; ermine muff, lined with ponceau; pale yellow gloves; black varnished 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.

International

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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