Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, January 1809.
This print is from the first issue of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, which introduced a level of engraving and hand-coloring that surpassed most other magazines of the period. Rudolph Ackermann was an engraver by profession, and the prints in his magazines (2 fashion prints plus at least 4 others per issue) showcased his skill and artistry. It was after this new publication became available that La Belle Assemblée, already in publication for 3 years, began to significantly improve the quality of its prints to compete with the Repository of Arts. This evening dress was designed by Madame Lanchester, a very famous modiste of the day, who acted as a sort of fashion editor for the first few months of publication.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“A white satin Spanish hat, with a diamond loop and Spanish plume; diamond ear-rings and necklace; the fair full, in ringlets; a white satin dress, full-trimmed with blue velvet, with a lace medicis round the back and shoulders; and antique stomacher ornamented with diamonds mounted in gold; white satin shoes with gold bows; white gloves and fan.”
At the end of the General Observations is the following note:
“It is almost unnecessary to add that the design and description of the ladies’ fashions in this Month are under the direction of Madame Lanchester, whose taste in the department of ladies’ dress and female ornaments is so well known as to render any eulogium unnecessary.”