Can you forbear laughing

Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions

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“A lady stands at her dressing-table (right), her hair in an enormous pyramid decorated with feathers torn from a peacock, an ostrich and a cock. A young girl wearing a hat holds the peacock by a wing; another wearing a cap tugs hard at one of its tail feathers (which are very unlike peacock’s feathers). An ostrich (left), which has lost most of its tail feathers, is about to pluck out those which ornament the lady’s hair. A cock stands in the foreground (right), having lost almost all its tail feathers, many of which lie on the floor. A black servant wearing a turban stands on his mistress’s right, handing feathers from a number which he holds in his left hand. The lady, who faces three-quarter to the right, is elaborately dressed in the fashion of the day. Her pyramid of hair is decorated with lappets of lace and festoons…

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6 thoughts on “Can you forbear laughing

  1. No, I laughed. Sent it on to my daughter who is about to do a course in historical costume, so she’ll know what to expect!


    • Yes, it is a hoot isn’t it! however would we understand the Georgian and Regency periods without these caricatures! Hope your daughter has a better sense sense of style!


  2. I laughed too, but if there’s such a thing as ‘cultural memory’ in animals, I’m starting to understand why peacocks can be so bad tempered towards humans!


  3. Funny caricatures of women and their fashion ideas, without thought to where the latest craze came from or if anything was injured in the process. What a contrast to today’s standards.


  4. I forbore Deb, I forbore. I forbore so hard i nearly cried…………
    I wonder to whom this sort of illustration was aimed at? Some husband aghast at their wife’s extravagances no doubt.

    Walk through Harrods today and look out for the price tags on .a Mulberry bag or a Stella McCartney dress. My eyes haven’t just watered I have actually gasped ,WHY??? in a strangled anguished yelp sprung,, leaped no less, from my uncomprehending brain.

    I actually tackled a poor counter assistant once in Harrods over the £500 price tag attached to a very small, narrow woollen scarf. She tried, very patiently to explain to me that the wool used to make the scarf was very special. It came from a rare breed of sheep and the scarf was hand made.Some bloody excuse if you ask me. Ha! ha!

    The embarrassment I cause my wife!!!!! ( embarrassing my wife is, I am told, one of my life’s great works.)

    All the best,


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