Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Universal Advertising Sheet, Part 4

Let’s see what interesting shreds of personal and social history we can read about, courtesy this week of the Monthly Compendium of Literary, Fashionable, and Domestic Advertisements from the February and March 1811 editions of La Belle Assemblée...

November 1810 saw the death of George III’s youngest daughter, Princess Amelia, and commercial after-effects were still being felt, as demonstrated by these two items:

The Nobility, Gentry, and Families, are respectfully informed, that SNUGGS and Co Mercers and Manufacturers to Her Majesty and the Royal Family, have a most extensive Assortment of every fashionable Article for the occasion, warranted f superior make, and at such prices as must ensure general approbation. No. 20, the Corner of Henrietta-street, Covent Garden. (February 1811)

(Hmmm. One wonders if they overstocked back in November...)


The extra-ordinary and general respect in which that amiable Princess was and is still held, is strikingly demonstrated by the unusual demand for the beautiful Portrait of her engraved by Agar, after Mrs. Mee. The original plate is already quite worn out; and the public will not be displeased to learn, that the same able artist has another in hand, which will be finished in a few days, and will possess all the advantages that may naturally be expected in a second performance. (February 1811)

(All the advantages of a second performance...does that mean it’s an even more flattering likeness?

However, this advertisement very much looks forward to the relaxing of mourning:


Mr. M. MARKS, most respectfully informs the Nobility and Gentry, that he intends to engage Musicians, and personally to attend at Balls, Masquerades, &c. as usual, and solicits their commands for the winter season. Letters or messages addressed to Mr. M. MARKS, Musician at the Surrey Theatre; or at Mr. Wilson’s, Dancing-Master, No. 9, Bedford-row, will receive the strictest attention.

MR. MARK’S Collection of Dances may be had at Kelly’s Saloon, Pall-Mall; Birchall and Golding, Bond-street, and at all the principal Music Shops. (February 1811)

This one was interesting...Regency falsies?!


TALMAGE’S fashionable CORSET Warehouse, removed from Orchard-street, Portman-square, to No. 31, Park-street, Grosvenor square, where he continues to Sell his new invented PATENT SHIELDS for the bosom, which are so universally approved of by Ladies in the first circles of fashion, as they display the most graceful form imaginable. Ocular demonstration will convince any Lady of their utility, without even a single trial; also his new invented Corsets, that for ease and elegance stand unrivalled. Ladies elastic steel backs, braces, and monitors, upon an entire new plan, for improving the shape. (March 1811)

And I found this particularly interesting, for many reasons:


Mr. Wilson, Dancing Master, from the King’s Theatre, Opera-House, Author of the Analysis of Country Dancing, Treasures of Terpsichore, &c., respectfully informs the Public, that his Academy for Dancing is now open every day, where persons of any age may be instructed in every department of Dancing, adapted either to the Stage or Ball-room.

For the sake of privacy, no third person is permitted to be present while the Pupil is receiving a lesson.

Country Dancing, Four private lesson: One Guinea, or completed for Five Guineas; Reels, with the Original Irish and Scottish Steps, Four Guineas. The Terms of every other Dance may be known of Mr. Wilson, at his residence, 9, Bedford-street, Bedford-row, Holborn, where he may be privately spoke with every afternoon from four till six o’clock.

Where may be had, price 7s. 6d. his “Analysis of Country Dancing;” likewise, his “Treasures of Terpsichore.”

N.B. Ladies wishing Private Instructions may receive them from Mrs. Wilson. (March 1811)

So private dancing lessons, with no one else to witness your two left feet in motion, could be had for both men and women...but wow, they were pricy! Interesting, too, that the ad specifies that stage dancing was also taught...in a time when dancing on stage was, shall we say, not very respectable.

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