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'The Fashions'. Home toilet and toilet de chambre, April 1863

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'The Fashions'. Home toilet and toilet de chambre, April 1863

by Louis Berlier, published by Samuel Orchart Beeton, published in The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, first published in Le Moniteur de la Mode, after Laure Noël (née Colin)
hand-coloured etching and line engraving, published April 1863
8 1/4 in. x 5 3/8 in. (211 mm x 135 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D48003

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This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
First Figure. Home Toilet. - The jacket and skirt are made of green mohair or mousseline-de-laine; the former braided in black, and ornamented with a "fluffy" silk trimming or swansdown. The Spanish jacket has a little pleated basque, or tail, behind, and is cut away very much in front. The sleeve is small and open to the elbow, and is trimmed as far as the opening. A row of braiding and trimming is placed on the upper part of the sleeve, to represent an epaulette. An embroidered chemisette and black velvet Medici band are worn under the jacket, and the sleeves are of puffed muslin, with embroidered cuffs. The skirt is plain and gored.
Toilette de Chambre. - The coiffure is composed of black lace, trimmed with magenta rosettes of narrow velvet; it is crossed under the chin, where it is secured by another velvet rosette. The Robe de Chambre, or morning wrapper, may be made of French merino, rep, or flannel. It is trimmed with coloured pleatings, and is arranged plain in the front, with a neck-piece behind, into which three large box pleats are put, the skirt terminating in a train behind. On each of the three pleats a band of ribbon is laid, which finishes under the pleating at the bottom of the skirt. Lengths of coloured ribbon, ornamented with bows, are placed up each side of the front in a slanting direction, the lengths becoming shorter as they reach the neck. The sleeves are very long, and are trimmed with a pleating all round.
Little Girl's Costume. - The hat is of velvet, trimmed with feathers, and is of the shape called Henri III. The paletot and dress are of the same material; namely, silk rep, bound with black silk, and ornamented with silk braid. The design on the paletot represents straps; that on the skirt of the dress a tiny running pattern. The paletot is slashed on each side, and is somewhat long.

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.


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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