Ball Dress, May 1809

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, May 1809.

Ball Dress May 1809“Ball Dress”

I have multiple copies of this print. Most show the dress in white, but this one shows blue. The text does not specify the color of the dress.

Note the bracelets worn on the upper arm. This was typical of the period, especially when above-the-elbow gloves were worn. Bracelets and armlets were generally worn in pairs, as here. One seldom sees a single bracelet on one arm in prints of this period.

Note also the loose long gloves. Meant to be worn over the elbow, the model’s left arms shows it falling down below the elbow. French prints often show ties at the top of long gloves to keep them in place. Most English prints emphasize the looseness of gloves and let them fall as they may,

And though the feet are almost too tiny to see (or to walk on!), the striped slippers are very charming.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“White satin slip, under a crape dress, made to fit the figure very exactly, cut open in front, and bound all round with white satin ribbon and a row of beads, linked together in front with bands of beads loosely suspended at distances; short sleeves the same. Fan richly spangled. Pearl necklace, with diamond clasp in front; ear-rings and bracelets to suit. White s hoes striped in scarlet or blue. Hair in ringlets on the forehead, and lightly turned up behind with a diamond comb. Petticoats very short.”




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