Fashions of London and Paris, November 1798.
These are clearly outdoor morning dresses, so I prefer to categorize them as Morning Walking Dresses.
I am intrigued by the anchor ornament on the front of the hat on the right. In the General Observations in this month’s magazine, it states that, “Anchors and oak leaves are the prevailing ornaments.” The famous Battle of the Nile, in which the British fleet, led by Lord Nelson, decisively defeated the French and made a popular hero of Nelson, had occurred in August of 1798. The victory launched a new trend of Egyptian-style furniture and design in Britain. Perhaps this little anchor on the hat is another homage to that battle. Anchors had also long been a symbol of hope, seen often in sentimental jewelry. Perhaps this anchor is just that.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“Fig. 1.–Hat of straw and velvet. Satin cloak, double capes, trimmed all round with black lace, bear muff.
“Fig. 2.–Hat of alternate stripes of pipe straw and coloured velvet: anchor and flower in front. White satin cloak, with a figured border, trimmed all round with fur, single cape and lappels, which may be of coloured velvet. Bear muff.”