Ladies‘ Fashion: The Gown in the Romantic Age

bild1Women’s gowns changed significantly throughout the Romantic Age. Until about 1780, France had been the ‘Kingdom of fashion’. Everybody had copied French designs and styles. With the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon to power, three things happened:

  • Aristocratic fashion with its excessive use of lace, brocade and silk fell out-of favour. Fashion adopted ideas of freedom, love of nature and early-democratic cultures such as Roman and Grecian antiquity.
  • French fashion leaders and their modistes fled from Paris to London. London became the new centre of fashion.
  • Napoleon’s Continental System blocked England from its previous market places for cloth. England’s search for new commercial partners led to the discovery of new fabrics for fashion. These allowed for new styles and cuts.

I have compiled a selection of photos of beautiful women’s gowns of 1740 – 1825. Follow me to the world of ladies’ fashion. Continue reading

Brighten the Dark Winter Days with Regency-Inspired Paper Lanterns

New exhibition at the Museum of Creativity

gruppeglow1When the days are shortest, the golden light of candles and lanterns offers cosiness and comfort. This is as true today as it was 230 years ago. Actually, transparent lamps, candle shades, lanterns, and fire screens became a household-favourite form the late 18th century. They were called transparencies, and genteel ladies created them for festivities or to brighten the long, dark winter month.

Once, transparencies were made of thin painted paper or cloth. The translucent effect was achieved by mixing the colours with mastic varnish or burnt lined oil, and by applying a touch of spirit of turpentine to all things on the picture that should glow especially light, e.g. the moon, and illuminated windows. Popular ground colours were Prussian blue, Burnt Sienna, Verdigris and Ivory Black.

Today, we can cheat a bit by using our favourite photos, fresh from the inkjet printer. For this year’s Christmas Season I have created several designs for translucent paper lanterns – Austenesque, Gothic and Baroque. Check them out at the latest exhibition at the Museum of Creativity and even try your hand at paper lantern design yourself.

Best regards

Anna M. Thane

What to read in November? – New Non-Fiction Books about the Georgian Age

2016-novemberEach month at Regency Explorer, I provide Regency Enthusiasts with a summary of the new non-fiction books about the Georgian Age.

Click here  to go directly to the updated list with a selection of new releases schedule for November.

Which is your favourite new release of the month? Mine is – well, I can’t decide. I have two favourites. Continue reading

The Origin of Now, Part 4

detail-neuAbout 250 years ago, science spread into the world and everyday life. People asked how scientific progress and inventions could make life better and easier. They set out to develop and pursue new ideas. Some of these are still around today. In the fourth part of my series, we discover how the invention of a Scottish mechanical engineer changed the office world forever.

The Letter Copying Press and Mr Watt’s Secrets Recipes for Ink and Liquor

Continue reading

A Time Traveller’s Adventure: At the Opening of Norfolk House

music-room-ceilingDear Regency Enthusiast

Let’s leave the Romantic Age for one glamorous evening and go to the mid 18th century. We shall discover one of the major society events of the year 1756: The opening of Norfolk House in London.

Follow me to ‘All Things Georgian’, the brilliant website of Sarah Murden and Joanne Major, history detectives and acclaimed authoresses. Sarah and Joanne kindly feature my guest post about a grand event and 6 tips to succeed there as time travelling guests of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.

Please click here to go to the post and find out more.

Best regards,

Anna M. Thane

Dollhouses Inspired by the Regency and the Georgian Age

01 Darcy closeupDollhouses are not for children. At least this is what the Georgians thought. When dollhouses first emerged in the 17th century, they were women’s play things, elaborate pieces filled with expensive or rare miniature objects. Only the rich could afford them. By the 18 century, dollhouses often were created as an exact copy of a person’s home, featuring even identical furniture.

Creating dollhouses is still a treasured hobby today. Among the most skilled creators are Caroline Hamilton and Jane Fiddick from Britain. They are also collectors. Their amazing collection of about 70 dollhouses is on permanent display at New Hall in Yorkshire. When visiting the exhibition this year, I couldn’t tear myself away from the charming settings. I was especially delighted by the many 18th century themed dollhouses. They feature scenes that could have sprung from a Jane Austen novel, and one of them is a copy of Newby Hall itself.
I have compiled a selection of photos of these admirable miniature buildings and their inhabitants for you to enjoy. Continue reading

The World of Fashion in the 18th Century – Part 1: Accessories for Gentlemen

1798 Dress SwordCourt suits, breeches and waistcoats of the 18th century are highly aesthetic. They are, however, incomplete without the matching accessories. Therefore, stockings, dress swords, watches, buttons, etc. are in the spotlight of today’s post. I have compiled a selection of photos of these beautiful fashion items, so follow me to the world of accessories for gentlemen. Continue reading

The Evolution of the Waistcoat in the 18th Century

1795-98 Court suit waistcoat detail

Elaborately embroidered waistcoat of a court suit

A gentleman wasn’t properly dressed without a waistcoat. A waistcoat was a highly elaborate piece of clothing and allowed to show off exquisite taste in fashion. The garment itself was the subject of fashion trends. You would of course suppose that its decoration varied throughout the 18th century. But did you know that the cut changed significantly, too? Learn about the styles of waistcoats throughout the decades in this post. Continue reading