No commentary this month, just descriptions of the costumes in two plates. One of a Walking Dress, or Carriage Costume, the other featuring two Opera Dresses. The Walking Dress is described “trimmed with Astrakan fur”; the tippet and “ridicule” are made of the same. I’d heard the word “Astrakan” before, but I wasn’t quite sure what it referred to. The OED uses the spelling “astrakhan,” and includes two definitions: “The skin of still-born or very young lambs from Astrakhan in Russia, the wool of which resembles fur”; “A kind of cloth used chiefly as an editing or trimming for garments.” The latter definition, though, dates from 1887, so I’m guessing we’re talking about poor little lambs here.
Want to decorate just like a Prince? Well, this month you can, for February 1811’s fabric samples includes a chintz “designed by Mr. Allen, of Pall-Mall, for the bed-room furniture of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, at Carleton-House.” How many members of the ton do you think rushed out to visit Mr. Allen for a sample?