To keep warm in the chilly days of February 1813, ladies are recommended to don cloaks with a military flair. In plate 13, a Cossack cloak, of “pale Russian flame-coloured cloth” covers the fashionable Evening Dress, while a “Prussian hussar cloak, of Sardinian blue velvet” with a “variegated ball fringe” protects the lady from wintry winds during her morning walk. The “Russian flame-coloured cloth” also featured in last month’s fashion plate; I haven’t been able to discover just why this color, which appears in the plates more as a tan than a red, should be labeled “Russian.” Perhaps because during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, the cossacks were ordered to burn the villages, towns and crops as they retreated, so that the French would not be able to live off the land they were invading?
The oversized muff in Plate 14, a Promenade or Walking costume, is made of spotted ermine, a trim used in both of last month’s (January 1813’s) plates. The spots look amazingly regular, and very large, almost as if they were trimmings added on to a plain white ermine background. It does look amazingly warm, though, doesn’t it?
This month’s “Patterns of British Manufacture” includes both fabric and paper samples. Just look at #4, a “most beautiful gold embossed striped paper, designed for almost every order of paper-work.” It appears decidedly modern, does it not? I wonder how much Ackermann’s sold it for?