Tag Archive | Georgian fashion

Court Mourning for the Death of Queen of Charlotte

Ladies Monthly Museum, January 1819

QUEEN CHARLOTTEIt being the Lord Chamberlain’s orders that the Court mourning is to be changed on the 3rd of January to plain black silk, and grey for undress; and on the 24th to be still further changed, to black silk with coloured ribands, we have endeavoured to procure descriptions of some dresses now preparing for the change of mourning, which we flatter ourselves our fair readers will find worthy of their attention.

The first is a pelisse of fine Merino grey cloth, lined with white sarsnet; it has a plain broad back, which is finished at each side with five or six small plaits of grey satin, close to these plaits on each side, is a row of small jet buttons, which are placed at irregular distances, and are braided with black silk cord. The collar is a full rouleau of grey satin, which is entwined with black silk cord. The fronts are plain and tight to the shape. The sleeve is very long and loose. The shoulder is ornamented with a full rouleau of grey satin to correspond with the collar, it is so contrived as to stand up; the bottom of the sleeve is finished with a rouleau to correspond. The trimming which goes entirely round the pelisse, consists of a row of broad black velvet shells, edged with swansdown. This is one of the most elegant half mourning dresses that we have seen.

We have been favoured also with the sight of an evening dress composed of black velvet; it is cut down very low all round the bust, but an under body of white satin shades the neck sufficiently to prevent any indelicacy. The trimming of the bust is a row of small crape roses without leaves, of that beautiful and vivid red which we term the French rose colour. Short full white satin sleeve, over which is a small half-sleeve composed of black velvet; it is a single deep point, it comes from the back part of the shoulder to the front of the arm, and is trimmed with small roses to correspond with the bust. At the bottom of the skirt, is a deep flounce of black patent net, the edge of the which is slightly finished with rose-colour chenille; this is looped at considerable distances with single roses, which are much larger than those on the neck and sleeves; there is a narrow heading left to the flounce, the edge of which is slightly finished with chenille.

This dress, though celebrated for the latest half mourning, might also, with the greatest propriety, be worn in full dress at any time during the winter months. We must in justice to the eminent house, by whom we were flavoured with a sight of it, and the pelisse, observe that nothing can be more strikingly elegant than the former, or better calculated for grand costume.

White crape toques for evening dress are at present is considerable estimation, and are likely to continue so during the next month. Diadems of crape roses, principally white, are also much worn. The toque cap is likely to be fashionable for half dress; it is extremely novel, the lower part is a mob, the upper a low toque, with a small dome crown; it is usually ornamented with a crape flower in front; the toque part is composed of white satin, and the cornette of crape; it has a very narrow full border, and fastens with a little bow of satin riband under the chin.

A previous post about mourning Queen Charlotte from Ackermann’s Repository is here.

 

 

Susana’s 2015 English Adventure: Week 4

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On Monday I hopped on a train to Birmingham, then changed to one for Kidderminster. (I just love these English names, don’t you? Mousehole is my favorite, but I’m assured that it is a lovely place to visit despite the name.) At Kidderminster, I took a taxi to The Elms Hotel in Abberley, where I was met by the lovely Heather King and her fabulous, quadralingual dog, Roxy. Heather is an amazingly talented author of Regency stories (and, as Vandalia Black, of rather darker paranormal ones). Heather and I are online friends and have been part of two Regency anthologies, Beaux Ballrooms, and Battles and Sweet Summer Kisses. It was truly awesome to meet her in person, as well as Roxy and the ponies, Merlin and Dub-Dub, and Sootie, the black cat whose offspring were too high-in-the-instep to become acquainted with a Yankee. Heather served me Toad-in-the-Hole, which turned out to be a sort of English comfort food: sausages baked in a sort of pancake batter and served with hot gravy. Besides being very tasty, it served to warm us up inside and outside, after a day spent mucking about the ruins of Witley Court in the pouring rain. (It rains in England. Deal with it.)

Witley Court

Witley Court was once one of the great houses of the Midlands, but a devastating fire in 1937 left it in ruins. While one cannot but regret the loss of such a beautiful home, the exposure of the “bare bones” has proved to be valuable to historians interested in learning about historical building practices.

800px-Witley_Court_circa_1900_2

Witley Court, 1900

Witley Court today

Witley Court today

Thomas Foley (whose grandson became the 1st Baron Foley) built the house in 1665 on the site of a manor house. Additions were made by John Nash in the 19th century, and the house was sold to the Dudley family (later to be given an earldom) in 1837.

Tramping about the ruins of the house turned out to be much more appealing than one might have expected, even in the pouring rain! The gardens are lovely, particularly the fountain (see video here), and the parish church on the property—which is not a ruin—is magnificent.

See photos here.

Berrington Hall

On Tuesday Heather, Roxy, and I visited Berrington Hall, a splendid country home in Leominster (pronounced Lemster, or so they tell me). It was designed in the late 18th century by Henry Holland, whose talent, although not eclipsing that of my favorite, Robert Adam, puts him solidly in second place, in my estimation.

In addition to the rich furnishings and décor, there was an exhibit of Georgian fashion throughout the house, which included—believe it or not—costumes from the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. Yes, I was close enough to touch the costumes worn by Darcy and Lizzie during the final proposal scene, as well as many others. Truly an awesome experience!

Henry Holland!!!

Henry Holland!!!

The vast grounds include a walled garden with some vintage apple trees, a ha-ha, a lake, and some lovely paths. Heather and I enjoyed a delicious picnic before exploring further some of those paths. And not a drop of rain!

See photos here.

Waddesdon Manor

On Wednesday I took a train to Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire (where, incidentally, the estate of my hero in The Third MacPherson Sister is located) to visit Waddesdon Manor.

Waddesdon Manor was built in neo-renaissance style in the late 19th century as a sort of French château by the Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild of the Austrian banking family. The baron fell in love with his second cousin, Evelina, and married her, only to lose her in childbirth eighteen months later. The baron never married again, but became a compulsive collector instead. The furnishings are considered to be among the richest of any stately manor anywhere.

These stairs are reminiscent of those at the Château de Chambord in France

These stairs are reminiscent of those at the Château de Chambord in France

Unfortunately, I was only able to tour the house due to time considerations, but I plan to visit again to get a good look at the extensive grounds and other buildings, such as the Aviary and the Dairy.

Although cloudy, it didn’t rain until I had returned to London, where I got promptly soaked making a last round of Piccadilly Street and Fortnum & Mason. But hey, it rains in England. That’s why it’s so beautiful!

See photos here.

Adieu to England

Squidgeworth enjoyed his orange juice on the plane.

Squidgeworth enjoyed his orange juice on the plane.

It was with a tear in my eye as Squidgeworth and I said goodbye to England on Thursday. For now. We had a marvelous time and were fortunate to be able to visit many wonderful places, but there are still lots more on our bucket list. I’ve already booked our flight and flat for next year’s trip in August.

So much to see, so little time!

Next week: Squidgeworth and I have some travel tips for you!