Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, January 1809.
This print is from the first issue of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts — full title is The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashion, and Politics — and introduced a level of engraving and hand-coloring that surpassed most other magazines of the period. Note the face, for example, which shows a very high level of artistry and skill. It is believed that Ackermann used specialists just for painting faces. It was after this new publication became available that La Belle Assemblée, already in publication for 3 years, began to significantly improve the quality of its prints to compete with Ackermann’s.
This walking dress was designed by and described by Madame Lanchester, a very famous modiste of the day, who acted as a sort of fashion editor for the first few months of publication. (Read more about Madame Lanchester here.)
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“A Polish bonnet and mantle of gold-coloured velvet, with an invisible hood trimmed with ermine; an antique collar fastened with a gold ornament in front, in the form of a shell. Morning dress of white muslin Brussels spot, with a worked stomacher, and trimmed down the front and at the bottom; worked long hanging sleeves, twisted and fastened at the wristband with a small gold ornament of the same form as that which fastens the mantle and cincture of the dress; sandals of gold-coloured cloth, laced with brown cords and tassels; York tan gloves.”