Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, November 1813.
One of the things I love about Ackermann’s fashion prints is that they often show lovely pieces of Regency furniture and other bits of home life. In this print, we see what looks to be a tea table being used as a sort of writing desk. It is covered in green baize or perhaps a green paper blotter, and holds a gold ormolu candlestick and a silver writing set with feathered quill. The figure is holding a letter she has just sealed in red sealing wax. She holds the seal in her other hand. All these little details, even staged and posed, give us a small window into the Regency period.
As with most morning ensembles, the dress is white, with only the outer garment providing color. Adding the bonnet, resting on the table, and the spencer converts an indoor morning dress into an outdoor morning dress.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“A fine cambric or jaconet muslin round robe, a walking length, with round bosom, a demi height; long sleeves, and shirt, with deep fan frill of vandyke lace : the dress ornamented at the bottom to correspond. A spencer of Peruvian green velvet or satin, with Spanish slashed sleeves, and deep cuffs of vandyke lace, to correspond with the frill of the shirt, which rises above the spencer, confined at the throat with a pearl or other suitable broach, from which are suspended tassels and cord. The spencer appears unconfined in front, and is lined with white satin, decorated with small cord and buttons. The hair disposed à la Madona, flowing in loose curls on the crown of the head, a small spring of barberry in front. The Swedish slouch hat is worn with this dress in the out-door costume : it is composed of the same material as the spencer, lined with white satin, and ornamented with a curled ostrich feather. Half-boots of velvet, or kid, the colour of the spencer. Gloves, a pale lemon colour.”
- In Once a Dreamer,
Eleanor is wearing a white muslin dress with a green spencer when she first meets Simon.