A conveniently placed mirror in this fashion plate gives us a front an back view of this popular style of headpiece seen in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Engravers often used this technique to allow viewers to see different angles of a garment. The headpiece in question appears like a bun shaper that has been cut to lay straight, and placed oddly on the top of the head. I have always found this style odd, but they pop up in many fashion plates. The idea of it being velvet increases its appeal and the cap at the back to cover a small chignon makes it a useful addition to a fancy early Victorian impression.
The Court Magazine & Monthly Critic and Lady’s Magazine, a Museum of the Belles Lettres, Music, Fine Arts, Drama, Fashions, &c.
Description of the Fashion Plates in the Present Number.
[Having found that many of our Subscribers have been desirous of having a greater Number and greater Variety of Fashion Plates than we can possibly give in this Work, we beg to inform our Readers generally, that there are eighty-four Plates and upwards of the same description published by us annually in Paris (from which, monthly, we select two of the most novel and seasonable for the use of the Court Magazine), and that the same can be obtained from Mr. Dobbs, our publisher, at No. 11. Carey Street, or by the Order of any Bookseller in England, Scotland, or Ireland, viz., for three months, 12s.; for a year, ?2, in advance, as customary in France.
No. 2. – Dinner and Evening Dresses. – First figure. Dress of organdi (book muslin), embroidered in coloured worsteds; corsage en pointé and a la Sevigné with folded draperies across the bosom; the sleeves excessively short and full, but without trimming (see plate). Hair turned back entirely off the brow in the Chinese fashion, the back dressed low, in a rouleau with one small bow of hair in the centre (see plate); the wreath of roses is put on a la vestale. Long gold earrings; white kid gloves ornamented at the tops with a puffing of gauze. A bow of pink satin ribbon with long ends is placed at the point of the corsage. White silk stockings; black satin shoes.
Second figure. – Dress of striped gauze, with a very deep flounce at bottom. Châle manteau or mantelet, of black satin; this shawl is rounded at back in the style of the mantelet Châles we have so frequently described; the front ends are long and finished by thick tassels. This shawl has likewise the useful accessory of a large hood, which can be drawn over the head at pleasure. It is lined with white silk and wadded. Coiffure a la Berthe. This is the most fashionable style of coiffure at present adopted in Paris. The one on the figure on our plate, is composed of black velvet, and consists merely of a narrow head-piece, deep enough to admit of its turning up in a roll in front (see plate); a deep fall of black lace is put on at the edge (bord) and hangs low at the sides, forming a kind of oreillettes. A bouquet of flowers is placed at each side. Three gold-headed pins are stuck into the roll at the left side (see plate); the front hair is in braids en fer à cheval, the back in a single braid en rouleau. Half long black silk mittens; bracelets, worn high up on the arm. Antique fan; white satin shoes.