Framed print (mezzotint) transferred to glass and then hand-colored, titled: "MISS RATTLE dressing for the PANTHEON./ Printed for Carington Bowles, Map & Printseller, No. 69 in St. Paul's Church Yard, London. Publish'd as the Act directs, 28th, March 1772." The Pantheon, on Oxford Street in London, was originally a theater and promenade, famous for its masquerade balls. Painting on glass and transfers on glass were very popular in 18th-century America. For most of the century, supplies for transfers were available to the public to create their own, and many did as a hobby. Transfers on glass were made by adhering a printed image to glass with a tacky varnish and then rubbing off all but a very thin layer of the paper. The color was applied to the print in a backward order, beginning with the highlights and working toward the background. Printsellers advertised humorous prints among their offerings, and social and political satire were very popular subjects. Enormous headdresses - teased, powdered, stuffed with horsehair, and decorated with bows, lace, and silk - reached their fullest height in 1779 in England, and were among subjects for satirical prints. This print shows a three-quarter view of a young woman styling her hair in front of the mirror on the toilet table, on which are puffs and powder, a glass vial of perfume, jewelry, pins, and scissors. She wears a red dress with flounces and white lace at the neckline and in tiers on the sleeves, and has a very high white wig adorned with white lace and blue bows. Lace, an expensive and important accessory is seen here as ‘engageants’ or sleeve ruffles that enhanced the graceful movements of the wearer and displayed great wealth. A ‘set’ of laces for a fashionable dress could have required as long as seven years to produce and were often smuggled into England from France and Italy as prohibited goods. Representing the third generation of publishers, print and map sellers, Carington Bowles (1724-1793) worked with his father, John Bowles (1701-1779), in Cornhill until 1764 when he took over the firm vacated by his uncle, Thomas Bowles (1695-1767) in St. Paul's Churchyard, which he lead for thirty years until his death in 1793 when his son Henry continued under the partnership of Bowles & Carver.
Link to share this object record: