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'The Fashions'. Morning dress, ball dress and dress for a fancy-dress ball, February 1863

17 of 40 portraits by Samuel Orchart Beeton

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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'The Fashions'. Morning dress, ball dress and dress for a fancy-dress ball, February 1863

by Bonnard, published by Samuel Orchart Beeton, published in The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, first published in Le Moniteur de la Mode, after Jules David
hand-coloured etching and line engraving, published February 1863
5 1/4 in. x 8 1/4 in. (134 mm x 211 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D48001

Artistsback to top

  • Samuel Orchart Beeton (1831-1877), Publisher and journalist; husband of Mrs Isabella Beeton. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Bonnard (active 1860s-1870s), Engraver. Artist associated with 2 portraits.
  • Jules David (1808-1892), French painter, illustrator and lithographer. Artist associated with 19 portraits.
  • The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine (1852-1879), Magazine. Artist associated with 40 portraits.
  • Le Moniteur de la Mode (1843-1913), French magazine. Artist associated with 40 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Morning Dress. - Cap of Irish guipure, laid over a very full ruche. A coloured bow of ribbon is placed just in the front. Muslin cravat, trimmed with lace. Dress of grey poplin, trimmed with velvet, lace, and braid. It is made in la forme princesse; that is to say, body and skirt in one. A trimming of fringe, velvet, and braid is put on to imitate a pelerine. The sleeve is very tight to the arm, being sloped off sharply from the elbow. A trimming of lace, gimp, and braid is carried round the bottom of the skirt and up the sides of the same, and the pockets are ornamented to correspond.
Ball Dress. - The coiffure of this toilet is extremely stylish. The hair in turned back in front à l'Impératrice, and is arranged in a bow behind, from under which the hair falls in tiny frizzed curls. The headdress is composed of velvet and a long ostrich feather. The dress is of pink silk, trimmed with a very deep chenille fringe. The bodice is very low, pointed behind and before, arranged with a chenille berthe to match the trimming on the skirt. The sleeve is composed of a simple puffing of silk, over which the berthe falls, so forming a kind of epaulette. Each of the fringe ornamentations on the skirt is terminated by a bow without ends.
Toilet For a Bal Costumé. - This is a pretty model to copy for those who are in need of a fancy dress. The materials used need not be very costly to produce a good effect; one of the principal things to think of is the proper selection of colours, so that they harmonise well together. Our figure is so accurately detailed that further description would be unnecessary.
Little Girl's Dress. - This pretty little costume may be worn by a little girl from four to seven years of age. The dress and jacket are in velvet, trimmed with swansdown. The jacket is slightly open in front, showing a waistcoat of white silk or French merino. The sleeve fits nearly tightly to the arm. Velvet hat and scarlet feather.

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1863back to top

Current affairs

The opening of the world's first underground railway, with the Metropolitan Railway running trains between Bishop's Street, Padington and Farringdon. Work had begun in 1860, using the 'cut-and-cover' method of construction. The Metropolitan line inspired the construction of other underground railways - the Parisian 'Metro' took its name from the line.
The Football Association is founded.

Art and science

Julia Margaret Cameron takes up photography, taking portraits of some of the most celebrated figures of the day, with her romantic style capturing the sense of nostalgia and longing that characterised the age.
Kingsley's Water Babies; A Fairy Tale for Children is published, the hugely popular tale of drowned chimney sweep Tom's moral education in the river world of the water babies. It inspired the 1978 film starring James Mason.

International

At an international conference, the Geneva Public Welfare Society calls on the sixteen nations present to form voluntary units to help the wartime wounded. The society, comprised of five Swiss citizens and led by Henri Dunant, who had been deeply affected by the casualties he had witnessed at the Battle of Solferino, became the National Red Cross Societies, adopting the emblem of a red cross on white background.

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