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Fashion plate, from Le Petit Courrier des Dames

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published in Paris

Fashion plate, from Le Petit Courrier des Dames
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This hand-coloured fashion plate is from Le Petit Courrier des Dames, a weekly fashion magazine published in Paris. The plate is one in a series entitled, 'Modes de Paris' and illustrates women's fancy dress outfits. It is dated 15 February, 1838.

The woman on the left is holding a pair of castanets in her hand. Castanets are small hollowed pieces of wood or ivory which are clicked together in time to music. They are frequently used in Spanish dances.

The 19th century fashion magazine contained many suggestions for fancy dress. The fancy dress ball was one of the occasions when women could be outwardly frivolous. Originating about the time of Waterloo, they were extremely popular.

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