Category: Regency

Look inside a Georgian townhouse

Ever wonder just what the inside of a typical London townhouse in an upper-crust neighborhood looked like? Of course there were variations in design, size, styling, and decor. These cutouts and floor plans give an idea of what was standard. The typical London townhouse of the 18th century was a...

Silhouettes: A Portrait Alternative with a Dark History (pun intended)

For hundreds of years, until the invention of the camera, the only quick and cheap method of immortalizing a loved one was through a shade, also referred to as a shadow portrait. As opposed to more decorative and expensive forms of portraiture like painting or sculpture, a shade was a simple and inexpensive...

The Hermitage: Oddest of the English Garden Follies

I am forever fascinated by the unusual structures designed and erected to add atmosphere to a Georgian Era landscape garden. I’ve written several blogs on the subject —which are listed with links in the Pemberley Library under “Landscape & Garden”— and will be writing more in the future. For this...

The Follies at Barwick Park in Somerset

BARWICK PARK is a landscape park located near the city of Yeovil in South Somerset. The enormous estate was once the property of Syon Abbey, but then passed through various owners after Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1530s. Documentation during these centuries are sketchy, including the acquisition around...

What is that thing? An Epergne!

By the 18th century, entertaining had developed into a grand art with dinner consisting of a dozen or more courses extending for hours. Fancy does not begin to describe a properly adorned dining table! Every piece of cutlery, the linens, and serving dishes were of the finest quality and workmanship....

Fishing Devices and a short history of the Sport

Spring is here and for many people, myself including, this means it is FISHING SEASON!! I love, love, love to fish. As in, it is a passionate hobby I could literally do every single day from sunrise to sunset (and beyond) without tiring. And I know this from experience, having...

Canterbury Stand

A Canterbury is a low, open-topped stand with slatted partitions and a drawer beneath, sometimes with short legs on casters, designed for holding sheet music. Originally found in England during the 1780s, they were made in mahogany from about 1800, and later in rosewood and walnut. In a period when printed music was more widely...

Busks… all for fashion, darling!

The simple definition of a BUSK is a piece of carved wood or bone inserted into a pocket in a corset or stays front, between the breasts and extending as far as the pubic bone. Busks were very common during the Tudor and Elizabethan eras, used in conjunction with heavily...

Ormolu, a gilding technique

Ormolu (from French or moulu, “ground or pounded/powdered gold”) is strictly speaking the technique of applying a gold amalgam (gilding) to a metal object, typically one of bronze. The finished product was not only beautiful, but sturdier, practical, and cheaper… comparatively speaking. Making ormolu was an arduous process involving complex stages...

The Miseries of Human Life

The Miseries of Human Life is a book written by James Beresford (1764–1840) and published in 1806, first as a single volume and then as an expanded two-volume edition later that year. Illustrated by George Cruikshank, it catalogued “in excruciating detail” the “petty outrages, minor humiliations, and tiny discomforts that...

Tippet ~ the Regency boa

Today we would more accurately call these scarf-like fashion items a boa or stole. In the past, however, a “stole” primarily referred to the ecclesiastical garment, and the term “boa” was only used for the snake! Not until 1838 would “boa” begin to supplant the garment known as the tippet....

Two February 1817 Fashion Plates

For the final fashion plate focus for February, these two ensembles are both from the 1817 issue of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts. Carriage Dress from February 1817— Fashion plate; hand-colored aquatint from Rudolph Ackermann’s “Repository of Arts”, Series 2, Vol. III, Plate 10, No. 14, February 1, 1817. Depicts woman...

Georgian Garden: The Ha-Ha

A “Georgian Garden” is defined by the UK National Trust as one which dates from 1714 to 1830. In previous blogs I have written about the men and women who designed and maintained these massive parks, and I have also given a historical overview of landscape styles during this period...

February Fashion Plates: 1809 & 1815

For the month of February, I have two Fashion Plates from magazines of the Regency Era. As always, the descriptions are from the magazine itself and from contemporary commentaries, if available. Half Dress from February 1809— Fashion plate; hand-colored aquatint from Rudolph Ackermann’s “Repository of Arts” Series 1, Volume 1,...

Need Valentine Help? Richardson’s Valentine Writer is the answer!

In 1828, British publisher Thomas Richardson provided the gentlemen of England a twenty-six page pamphlet full of Valentine’s Day samples to use in conducting affairs of the heart. As often seen with publications from the days of yore, the title is recorded from the whole front page and extraordinarily long—...