[No: LXXI | By Viveka Hansen]
The repeated regulations in 18th century Sweden to do with “sumptuousness and excess” were deciding factors in how people of different social strata were able to dress, making the choice of textile material not only dependent on each individual’s financial status. A complex set of rules were dictated, when it concerned textiles it first and foremost included various restrictions on silks, laces, voluminous types of clothes, trains on dresses etc luxury items. Many of these laws were still a reality in the 1790s, a period central for this brief study focusing on two beautifully preserved hand-coloured drawings. The fashion depictions which demonstrate wealthy or aristocratic individuals’ way of dressing are accompanied by a few other items – a miniature portrait, a printed calico fabric and a pair of machine knitted stockings – all of contemporary date and with Swedish connections.A fashion illustration could be just a coloured drawing existing in one unique copy as these two discussed illustrations drawn by C H Fürst in Stockholm, but depictions like these were often printed to reach wider circles. In the late 18th century these type of prints – as sheets or as part of journals or almanacks – were primarily imported to Sweden by printers or bookshops who sold such goods, or purchased by Swedes on journeys from England, Germany or France. The art historian Patrik Steorn emphasises that prints of fashion had various purposes: inspire to an increased consumption, to document a certain style of dress, to spread fashion ideas among friends or just be a decorative feature in ones possession. Furthermore, it was not unusual for Swedish newspapers in the late 18th century to copy French fashion illustrations, due to the increasing interest in Stockholm and other cities for the latest clothes’ designs.
– Digitalt Museum (Sweden), information on respective catalogue card (see numbers/images).
– Hansen, Viveka, Textilia Linnaeana – Global 18th-century Textile Traditions & Trade, London 2017 (Including studies of sumptuousness and excess in 18th century Sweden).
– Henschen, Ingegerd, Kattun tryck – svenskt tygtryck 1720-1850, Stockholm 1992.
– Rangström, Lena, Modelejon Manligt Mode – 1500-tal 1600-tal 1700-tal, Stockholm 2002.
– Steorn, Patrik, ‘Modebilder i det svenska 1700-talets trycksakskultur’, Biblis 69, 2015, pp. 10-18.
PLEASE REFERENCE AS FOLLOWS:
Hansen, Viveka, ‘A Study of Two Hand-coloured Fashion Drawings from 1792’, TEXTILIS (November 2, 2016); https://textilis.net/ (Accessed: Day/Month/Year)