Promenade or Carriage Costume, May 1812

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, May 1812.

“Walking Dress”

Proenade or Carriage Dress May 1812The full-length pink outer garment, which one would normally assume to be a pelisse, is named a “spencer robe” in the description. How it differs from a pelisse is not readily apparent.

It is also unclear whether the black lace “drapery,” worn over the spencer is a long vest-like garment or something closer to a shawl. The fact that is is black lace does not signify that this is a half-mourning costume. Black lace shawls and other over-garments were popular throughout the extended Regency period.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“PROMENADE OR CARRIAGE COSTUME.  A round spencer robe of blossom-coloured sarsnet, trimmed with tufted Chinese silk fringe; a drapery of deep vandyke black lace, continued round the back and shoulders to the bottom, in the loose Polonaise style; the spencer sitting close to the throat, without a collar, which is supplied by that of the morning robe of white muslin beneath. A provincial bonnet of the same material as the spencer, ornamented with two curled white ostrich feathers, placed in adverse directions in front. Half-boots of clossom-coloured kid; ridicule to correspond; and gloves of lemon-coloured kid, or pale tan colour.”

After the description of the second print in this month’s issue, the following note is added:

“The peculiar taste and elegant simplicity of these habiliments are further specimens of the graceful invention of the celebrated Mrs. Gill, of Cork-street, Burlington-gardens, from whom we have obtained them.”

Mrs. Gill had at one time worked for the famous modiste Madame Lanchester, whose creations are seen throughout this collection of prints. By this time, Mrs. Gill had a very successful business of her own.

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