Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Prints in Prints?

I’ve been rather puzzled by something over the last several months as I’ve posted the fabric samples advertisements that appeared in  Ackermann's Repository: if patterned fabrics, be they prints or jacquards, were so popular (after all, we've seen a lot of them in the samples), why do we almost never see dresses in Ackermann’s Repository made from them?*

A recent acquisition, however, has finally addressed that issue. I already own and, indeed, had blogged about this plate from the February 1809 issue, depicting a buxom lady in a Half Dress (and no, that's not half a dress"half dress" meant garb in a slighter more casual, less formal vein, perhaps for attending a smaller private party--as opposed to "full dress.") It is described as an Egyptian head-dress of silver and pearls, one point falling on the left shoulder, finished with a tassel; the hair in loose ringlets; pearl ear-rings, bracelets, and necklace; a train dress of brocaded sarsnet, trimmed with silver and vandyked; [I rather suspect this semi-colon should not be here] lace round the neck in form of a tucker, long sleeves of Mecklin or Brussels lace; white gloves and fan; shoes the same as the dress, of brocaded silk, with silver bows.

But looking at this print, it's not easy to see that the fabric is supposed to be a brocade. Which is why I was delighted recently to run across another copy of this print, which was colorized very differently as you can see at left. The sparing touches of red make it much easier to see that the original engraving was doing its best to depict a patterned fabric.

For whatever reason, as you can see in this close-up, the colorist handled adding the color to it very differently...and it's plain to see that this dress was indeed made of a patterned fabric, perhaps like some of the sarsnets we've already seen.

And now I feel a little bit less puzzled. ☺

And speaking of prints...I'm very happy to report that Between Silk and Sand is a finalist in the young adult category of the I Heart Indie Contest, sponsored by the Las Vegas Romance Writers of America, which judges the cover presentation of indie and small press books. Category winners and the Best of the Best will be announced later this fall--keep your fingers crossed!

*I'm sure this question has kept you all awake at night as well. Right? 

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