The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Walking dress, November 1840

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Buy a greetings card Make a donation Close
  • Buy a print
  • Buy greetings card
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

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

Artistsback to top

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.


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.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter


Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up