1804-1805 ca. White Cotton Mull Gown With Vertical White Embroidery, French. Vertical white embroidery was very fashionable in the early 1800s, with the sheer cotton mull probably imported from India already embroidered with this heavy white cotton thread. These daring items of clothing copied the Grecian idea of loosely draped clothing and were the first of many changes to women’s outfits. Heavy fabrics were abandoned, especially in summer, in favor of lighter materials that allowed women to move about easier. Although this dress was originally thought to have been Elizabeth Patterson’s wedding dress when she wed Jerome Bonaparte in 1803, it probably dates from 1804, when this type of vertical white embroidery became fashionable. Elizabeth was a fashionable young American who married in a dress of muslin and lace that, according to a contemporary, “would fit easily into a gentleman’s pocket.” At the beginning of the 19th Century, women caused a sensation by adopting this type of sheer and narrow dress, although the floaty white dresses were probably seen as scandalous more because they were so different to the heavier gowns with wide skirts and panniers of the 1700s. NB. Napoleon had the marriage of Jerome and Elizabeth annulled in 1805, despite Elizabeth being pregnant. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, USA Follow Suzi Love … Continue reading →
1810 Dress, American. Cotton and silk Empire style, high-waisted, dress. Short puffed sleeves and with a two layer frilled and embroidered hem. This dress shows the typical Empire silhouette of a tubular garment draped from the shoulders and sometimes belted, or tied with a ribbon, beneath the bust. The Empire period fell between the 18th Century and the rectangular shaped panniered skirts and the 19th Century and conical hoop skirts. From the Metropolitan Museum: “The neoclassic style was adopted in all forms of decoration after the French Revolution and was upheld during the Napoleonic Wars partly due to Napoleon Bonaparte’s (1769-1821) alliance with Greco-Roman principles. In fashion, the style began as children’s wear made from fine white cotton, but was adopted by women in the form of a tubular dress with skirts that were gathered under the bust with some fullness over a pad at the back. As the style progressed the skirts began to flatten at the front and solely gather from the bodice at the center back. The style persisted until the 1820s when the waist slowly lowered and the skirts became more bell shaped.” via Metropolitan Museum New York City, U.S.A. metmuseum.org Follow Suzi Love … Continue reading →
1780 ca. Man’s Gold Silk Banyan, British. via Metropolitan Museum New York City, U.S.A. metmuseum.org For at-home wear, a gentleman had a dressing gown, often with a matching waistcoat, and an undress cap or turban. From the Metropolitan Museum, New York City, USA.: ‘For at-home wear, a gentleman had a dressing gown, often with a matching waistcoat, and an undress cap or turban. As for breeches, they were not designed especially for this casual ensemble, but rather borrowed from other suits. The dressing gown was cut like a man’s loose coat and usually hung to the floor, though there were also versions that stopped below the knees. Since there were no fastenings, the wearer overlapped the dressing gown in front when he walked so that the sides did not billow out behind him. The sleeves were originally rolled back to form cuffs, but later dressing gowns display the fashionable cuff of their period. In England these dressing gowns were called “banyans” or “Indian nightgowns” because of their kimono-like form and Eastern origin. Banyans were made in a variety of fabrics, including silk brocades, damasks, and printed cottons. Winter banyans were occasionally quilted for extra warmth. Gentlemen received friends while attired in banyans as a sign of their informality and of their intimacy with the visitor. By the 1780s, gentlemen ventured out of doors in this comfortable and stylish costume. According to Town and Country Magazine in 1785: “Banyans are worn in every part of the town from Wapping to Westminster, and if a sword is occasionally put on it sticks out of the middle of the slit behind. This however is the fashion, the ton, and what can a man do? He must wear a banyan.” This yellow damask banyan with its bold Chinese Chippendale – inspired pattern … Continue reading →
1785 Armchair (Fauteuil à la reine), Paris, France.
Attributed to Georges Jacob (French, 1739–1814)
Carved and gilded beech; silk upholstery (not original)
Credit: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906. Metropolitan Museum, New York City, USA. metmuseum.org
1833 ca. Man’s Ensemble, British.
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Blue Tailcoat, cream stirrup trousers with very full waist, vest, shirt, cravat.
Regency Era Cards or Games Tables
From various museums and auction houses, including Christie’s Auction Rooms, the Metropolitan Museum New York City, 1st Dibs Auctions, Winterthur Museum.Continue reading →