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'Toilettes de Promenade. Winter Walking Dresses', December 1840

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'Toilettes de Promenade. Winter Walking Dresses', December 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 December 1840
8 1/4 in. x 5 7/8 in. (208 mm x 149 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47867

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This portraitback to top

The plate was originally published in Paris in 'Le Follet' on 30 November. Described in the Court Magazine:
First Figure - Capotte of dark green velvet. The front sits close to the face and comes very low at the sides, and is slightly turned up at the edge, which is finished by a double border. The crown sits flat on a level with the front. The trimming consists of a broad band of velvet brought to the right side, and tied in a bow, the ends are thickly fringed; roses underneath the front of the bonnet intermixed with the long ringlets. Dress of Levantine, manteau of satin or grey merinos, wadded and lined throughout, with geranium colour silk. This new and very pretty cloak is only three quarter length, and the fronts are rounded at bottom. The piece at the top is cut slightly en palatine, but quite short in front; the hood or capuchin is in folds and rounded at bottom, and the lower part trimmed as well as the bottom of the cloak with a very rich deep silk fringe, both of the colour of the cloak and of the lining. Independently of this fringe, the cloak is trimmed all round with a thick cord of the colour of the lining. The arm-holes are ornamented, top and bottom, with acorn tassels (des glands), two pair at bottom, and two at top. Guipure cuffs, pale yellow gloves, black varnished shoes.
2nd Figure - This very elegant dress is made of satin, lined and wadded throughout, the corsage in one of the patterns, tight to the bust, and with the manches amadis (tight sleeves with two seams) see plate. Upon the front of the corsage is a trimming, consisting of four rows of black lace set on in regular fluted plaits, this garniture goes from the shoulder to the centre of the waist in the form of a V and is likewise carried across the back in the style of a pelerine; besides this, the trimming is carried down at each side of the front breadth of the skirt en tablier, becoming wider, gradually, as it goes down, and also increasing in distance. Flat collar and guipure bouillon cuffs. Hat of pea-green velours epinglé, the front small and setting quite round to the face. This very elegant hat is ornamented with a beautiful willow feather drooping low at the left side, it is of the same delicate tint as the hat. We omitted to say that a row of very narrow black lace, goes all along the outside seam of the sleeve. Straw colour gloves.

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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