Fashions of London and Paris, September 1805.
On August 25, 1805, the Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George III, passed away. The Lord Chamberlain ordered Court Mourning to begin on September 1. The king also commanded that a General Mourning be observed throughout the realm. This print, and others of September 1805 showing mourning fashions, are in honor of the Duke’s death and not that of Lord Nelson, as some collectors have suggested. Nelson died in October.
This print is especially interesting as I have only seen a handful in which hats are presented all in black, for mourning. The ladies depicted in this publication are almost always shown with pink cheeks. In this print, not only are the cheeks more vividly pink, but the lips are are bright red, no doubt to provide a bit of color amongst all that black.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“No. 1–A hat of black crape, the crown made full, and the front turned up, ornamented with black feathers.
“No. 2–A black chip hat, turned up in front.
“No. 3–A hat of black silk, trimmed with crape, and ornamented with flowers.
“No. 4–A hat of black crape, turned up on one side, and ornamented with a flower.
“No. 5–A morning bonnet of black gauze, trimmed with crape.
“No. 6–A hat of black crape, looped up in front; a bunch of flowers on the left side.
“No. 7–A turban of black crape.
“No. 8–A close bonnet of black silk, with a flower on the left side.
“No. 9–A cap of black crape, ornamented with a wreath of black flowers.”