Opera Dress, February 1810

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, February 1810.

“Opera Dress.”

I love the face on this model. Is she enraptured by the performance on the stage? Or is she making eye contact with a gentlemen in a box on the opposite side of the theater? She carries book, which one might guess is the opera libretto (they were sold outside the opera house), so perhaps it is the performance that has captured her attention.

The bodice of the dress, of which we have only a hint, is cut quite low in a style seen more often in French prints.

The details on the hairdo are quite lovely.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A round robe of white or coloured crape, imperial net, or muslin, with white satin bodice, trimmed with gold or silver, or a border of small flowers. A wrapping mantle of fawn-coloured satin, trimmed entirely round with swansdown. Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets of pearl. Hair in disheveled curls, confined with a diamond comb, and ornamented with a Persian wreath of blended pearl and amethysts. Slippers of fawn-coloured satin, with silver clasps. Opera fan of carved amber.”

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