(FASHION) ~ [An album of women’s dress designs in watercolour]. [?Paris], 1870-71,
Oblong 4to (162 × 235 mm), decorative manuscript title and colophon leaves plus 67 costume drawings almost all in a combination of ink, pencil and watercolour (a very few in pencil or ink only), some heightened with gum arabic, all dated. In a contemporary blindstamped black pebbled-grained cloth album. Hinges cracked but secure.
A superb fashion album from the year of the Paris siege, with a great variety of dated designs showing the vogue for dresses emphasising a narrow figure with low sloping shoulders and skirts gathered extravagantly at the back with ribbons, tapes, ruches and ruffles. Outdoor and walking dresses, evening dresses, hairstyles, headresses, veils, parasols, nightgowns, shoes and coats. Colours, especially for outdoor wear, tend towards darker palettes with deep greens, mauves and black in abundance.
Despite the Franco-Prussian war and the advance of the Germans on Paris, the city remained at the centre of the fashion world. The military realities of the Paris siege of that year impinge with one image of a rifleman (franc-tireur) of the Légion de la Seine (dated 25 August 1870) and the styles for 1871 exhibiting occasional military references with square cut coat pockets, brocades and frogging.