Le Beau Monde, October 1807.
Despite the print title, these elegant evening dresses were not meant to be worn at a formal court Drawing Room, eg in honor of the King’s or Queen’s birthday. Full court dress would have been worn for those occasions. These dresses would have been worn at some other elegant, likely aristocratic drawing room party.
Sadly, I only have access to the description of the dress on the left, but as that is the more interesting dress, I am happy to have it. (Courtesy of Cathy Decker’s Regency Fashions pages.)
“Fig. No. 3–An elegant Livonia Dress, made of purple bloom soft satin, sprigged with small clusters of gold dots; the dress to fall a little below the knees, with rich gold bullion trimming in the form of a Vandyke; the back part gored off to the shape, with a cottage front, confined with gold buttons down the skirt; sleeves short and low on the shoulders, with a narrow trimming to accompany the bottom of the dress, worn round the arm in the form of a cork-screw, to give it the appearance of genteel confinement; a white lace train petticoat is worn under this dress, with a rich border of Vandyke worked with a light gold thread to correspond. Headdress quite plain, entirely of hair, combed strait over the head, from the front of the forehead, plaited in a thick cable plait, brought up to the crown of the head, turned under and fastened with a brilliant comb.The hair à-la-Madona on each side of the forehead, with a long cork-screw curl on the right side of the face: a rich half-wreath of green enamelled stone, intermixed with small gold flowers ornaments the right side of the head. Ear-rings of thick gold; gloves of white lace; shoes of purple satin; fan, ivory and silver.”
Though the artist of this beautiful print is unknown, the engraver included his name: William Read, a popular engraver from the early 19th century through the 1840s.