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'The Fashions'. Ball dress and walking dress, December 1862

15 of 40 portraits by Samuel Orchart Beeton

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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'The Fashions'. Ball dress and walking dress, December 1862

by Amédée Bodin, 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 December 1862
8 1/4 in. x 5 3/8 in. (211 mm x 135 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47999

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.
  • Amédée Bodin (born 1825), Engraver. Artist associated with 5 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:
Ball Dress. - The hair is arranged in two bows behind, from which a touffe of frizzed hair falls gracefully on the shoulders. An ornamental comb is stuck in just above the knot, and from each side of the comb the wreath commences, which is composed of red velvet leaves. This is arranged high and somewhat pointed in front, to form a diadem. The dress, of white glacé silk, is trimmed with black-spotted tulle and bright red ribbon velvet. The bodice is arranged with a round berthe cut up on the shoulders, where it is ornamented by velvet bows. It is bordered by a row of black and white blonde, and trimmed in front with a bouquet of red velvet leaves, like the head-dress. Some black tulle is puffed on it, which is crossed by the velvet to form regular diamonds. The sleeve is only a simple puffing of silk, trimmed with black and white blonde. The skirt is very fully and handsomely trimmed: it is gored, and quite at the bottom are arranged four puffings of the black tulle. This material is then laid on the skirt and tacked on in points, allowing it sufficiently long and wide to puff nicely over the white silk. This is crossed in regular diamonds, which are so arranged that the points commence about a quarter of a yard from the waist. The points at the bottom are terminated by bows and ends of velvet, which fall over the two top rows of puffing.
Walking Dress. - Bonnet of plain velvet, of the new shade of brown, trimmed with white blonde, and plume of white feathers. The dress, of silk rep, the same shape (for it is now very much the fashion to wear dresses and bonnets the same colour), is trimmed with bands of fur and ribbon velvet much darker in shade than the rep. The bodice is slightly pointed in front and behind, and is trimmed round the neck and down the front with fur. This is carried down the skirt, apron fashion, and round the bottom. The tablier, or apron, is composed of rows of velvet, whilst below the fur, all round the bottom of the skirt, short rows of velvet are put on. The sleeve is cut very prettily with a seam at the elbow, and is trimmed round the bottom, and as far as the elbow, with bands of fur. This dress would be equally stylish made in woollen rep or linsey, and a full ruching of silk might be substituted for the bands of fur with an equally good effect.
Little Girl's Dress from Six to Seven Years of Age. - Velvet hat, ornamented with a long white feather. Polish pardessus, in black velvet, fitting tightly behind, and rather loose in front. The sleeves are long and open, with tight under-sleeves of the same material. Blue poplin dress. Black cloth gaiters.

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1862back to top

Current affairs

The Lancashire cotton famine, a depression in the north-west textile industry brought about by the American civil war, reaches its climax. With large numbers of mills closing after Confederate blockades halted cotton supplies, many Lancashire families were in receipt of relief.

Art and science

Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard carry out the first pasteurisation tests, the process of heating liquids at 55 degree Celsius or higher for short periods of time, destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria and yeast. .
Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables is published, covering the Napoleonic wars. It traces the ex-convict Jean Valjean's character against wider questions of social and political justice, duty and love.

International

Otto Eduard Leopold Bismarck becomes Minister-President of Prussia, appointed by Wilhelm I after the liberal Diet refused to authorise funding for a proposed reorganisation of the army. Bismarck, intent on maintaining royal supremacy, engineers the Unification of Germany during his time in office.
John Hanning Speke claims to have found the source of the Nile, proving that the Victoria Nile issued from the north end of lake Victoria, over Ripon Falls.

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