May 23, 2009

Fichu: A Regency Shawl

"Fanny, William must not forget my shawl if he goes to the East Indies; and I shall give him a commission for anything else that is worth having.....I wish he may go to the East Indies, that I may have my shawl." "
Austen, Jane: Mansfield Park
"The Empress had more than two hundred white muslin dresses. This was only a fraction of her extensive wardrobe. She changed clothes four and five times a day. It is not remarkable, then, that she owned several hundred dresses, 558 pairs of white silk stockings, 520 pairs of shoes (she never wore a pair but once), 500 lace trimmed chemises, 252 hats, and 400 shawls. She spent 3,000 francs a year for rouge and thousands more for perfumes, but she had only two flannel petticoats and two pairs of drawers!"
"Dressing the Part", Fairfax Proudfit Walkup; 1938 F.S. Crofts & Co. (page 255)
Instructions to make a fichu:

Links to images:

Maurice Quentin de Latour, French, 1704-1788
_Portrait of Madame Anne-Jeanne Cassanéa de
Mondonville, née Boucon (1708-1780)_, c. 1752
Possibly the exact same collar, reused by the artist.

Reynolds, Joshua (English, 1723-1792)
_Portrait of Suzanna Beckford_, 1756
Lace appears to be "blonde" in three or four
layers. Probably a narrowish edging attached to
a sheer fabric; compare the engageantes.

Spencer, Gervase
_Portrait of Miss Manners_, 1760
Multi-layer falling collar similar to that of
Suzanna Beckford but even larger.

Copley, John Singleton (American, 1738-1815)
_Hannah Loring_, 1763
Very narrow, multi-layer frill of lace or muslin or gauze.

Copley, John Singleton
_Mrs. Daniel Hubbard (Mary Greene)_, c. 1764
Virtually identical to collar of Hannah Loring
except for ribbon used to tie collar.

Maurice Quentin de La Tour
_Marie Sallé_, 1740,_Calouste_Gulbenkian).jpg
More of a steinkirk.

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