Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pastimes for Regency Women

As an author writing in the Regency, I am always looking for something for my ladies to do, so the Victoria and Albert display of pastimes from this era was perfect.

Painting on Velvet

Who would have thought that what is often thought of as tacky these days would be one of them? Apparently it replaced taffeta painting which had been popular in the previous century. The example they had was from 1809. The display showed a set of liquid colors supplied by Reeves & Woodyer, labelled 'Ackermann's brilliant carmine', 'W H Edwards's lilac purple', and 'W H Edwards's sunflower yellow'. The box included bowls for mixing colours, a tiny bone palette and brush rest, pairs of dividers and pincers, and brushes. To see an example of a painted reticule, follow this link.

Cut Paper Work

It is the border that is cut paper work. Can you imagine the hours and the patience. Designs came from Ackermans and patterns material and tools from S. J Fullers Temple of Fancy.

This is another form of cut paper work. the Silhouette. The word 'silhouette', describing images in outline, came into use in English in the 19th century. Before this date such works, particularly portraits, were called 'profiles'. The word 'silhouette' came from Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1769), a keen amateur paper cutter and a French finance minister who introduced petty tax reforms. The popular mind apparently came to associate his meanness with the inexpensiveness of his hobby, and the word 'silhouette' caught on. To see a particularly fine example follow this link.

Miniature cutwork pictures were also done for lockets. They were absolutely lovely.



Clearly women had lots of time on their hands.

There are more pastimes I want to share, but I will keep them for next time. Until then, Happy Rambles.