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Walking dress, November 1840

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Walking dress, November 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 November 1840
7 3/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (198 mm x 148 mm) paper size
Acquired, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47870

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This portraitback to top

The plate was originally published in Paris in 'Le Follet' on 1 November. Described in the Court Magazine:
Hat of white satin, the front sitting close to the face, and coming very low at the sides, a bouquet of three Ostrich feathers is placed quite at the right side, and a bunch of roses at each side underneath the front of the hat. Dress of Armure (a very soft silk) corsage half high, and sleeves full all the way down, and finished by deep poignets or wrist bands. The skirt of the dress is ornamented with a very deep flounce put on without a heading, and edged with a liseré-piping. Mantelet of velvet, lined with satin of precisely the same shade. The mantelet reaches as low as the waist at the back, and the front ends fall low like the ends of a scarf, (see plate). The new feature of this mantelet is the kind of corsage formed of velvet, that takes in the entire bust, being rounded very low at back, and covering the shoulders, and being then sloped away towards the front in the style of a Palatine - long fur tippet. - The lower part of the mantelet which is of satin, is bordered all round with a broad band of velvet. It will be perceived that the velvet is slit up at each side so as to take in the form of the shoulders, and lace up again with small cords from which hang rich silk tassels that fall over the upper part of the arm. The mantelet is closed in front by means of three silk buttons on each side, with loops across. Kid gloves, cambric handkerchief trimmed with lace, brodequins with fronts of pian anglaise, kid - hair in bands.
Sitting figure - The second figure was a dress of noisette levantine. The sleeves in three puffs at the shoulder, the remainder full, with a deep poignet. The corsage is of velvet, it is a kind of antique spencer without sleeves. It is perfectly tight to the bust, cut much in the fashion of the ancient breast armour (cuirass) with three rows of buttons on the front, the back is cut precisely like the front; it has a small flat collar, and is cut up upon the shoulder (see plate) a cordelière fastens it round the waist. Half cap of application with lappets and flowers. Hair in smooth bands - bandeaux seliss.

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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