April 1812’s fashion plates feature a “Morning Dress” and a “Ball Dress,” both topped by the loveliest of headgear. For casual wear, a “Flora cap” of white satin and lace; for evening occasions, a “Spartan or Calypso helmet cap of pink frosted crepe, with silver bandeaus, and embellished with tassels, and rosets” to match those on evening gown. Did those tassels and rosets make a charming tinkling noise when my lady took to the dance floor, I wonder?
Before reading the description, I assumed the fabric in sample #1 & #2 was meant for a lady’s gown. But to my surprise, I read that it is intended not for women, but for gentlemen’s waistcoats. A popular item, it would seem, especially among members of the “Whip Club,” who “distinguished themselves by double-breasted waistcoats of this attractive article.” As the fabric resembles “tambour work,” or what appears to be embroidered netting, it seems a rather delicate choice for hard-driving bucks. But perhaps that is part of the appeal: a true pink of the ton would be able to handle his horses so smoothly that there would be no danger of tearing the fabric of his oh-so-fashionable waistcoat.
An extra plate this month, featuring an engraving of a “Ladies’ toilette dressing-case.” Equipped with not one, not two, but five separate mirrors, the dressing-case allows his owner to judge the success (or failure) of a particular hairstyle or dress adornment “more quickly and accurately than is possible with the usual accommodation.” I wonder how much Mssrs. Morgan and Sanders charged for such an extravagant piece of fashionable furniture?
There are only three samples and none are cerulean blue. I now see the numbers but can’t make sense of them
Otherwise thank you for these and the others you give us .It is appreciated.
Bliss Bennet says
Ackermann’s uses the same background template each month, with 4 blocks for the fabric samples. If you look, you can see the numbers in circles to the left and right of each swatch. Often, they include a large swatch, which takes up 2 boxes. #3 is the cerulean blue gauze; this swatch is a very light, light blue, almost silvery-white. Faded, no doubt, from its original color.