“a turban in miniature”

In August, REBECCA STODDERT, writing to her niece in Bladensburg, Maryland, notes that she is sending her some examples of the latest fashions in Philadelphia. One way to convey information about new styles was to send copies in miniature, as in the case of the turban in this letter. Fashion dolls were also used, clad in the latest patterns which could be replicated by the recipient.
The heat is bothering Rebecca; she’s a hard lady to please and wants nothing more than to return her to state—Maryland.

My dear Eliza,—so favorable an opportunity presents itself, I cannot do otherwise than take the advantage of it by sending three pairs of silk gloves, a turban in miniature merely for you to see the fashionable way of pinning them up in Philadelphia, and a Spanish receipt for dressing tomatoes. . . . The turban was pinned by a young lady in the genteelest circle in the city. I give you this information that you may be the better satisfied of its being “the thing.” Pray let me know whether you have seen any pinned like it. Two pairs of the gloves, you will observe, are exactly like each other. The third pair differs a little on the back. Those I designed for you. . . . The other two pairs are for my cousins. . . .
It is said there is not a case of yellow fever in the city. . . . We had seven as warm days and nights as ever I felt, but a charming rain has cooled the air and settled the dust. . . . And the flies!—Oh, dear me! How I shall enjoy my dear native State when I get to it again. I am sure I shall never have a wish to set foot out of it.

Kate Mason Rowland, “Philadelphia a Century Ago, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, Volume 62, 1898, page 813-14.

posted May 9th, 2016 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Fashion, Philadelphia, Stoddert, Rebecca Lowndes

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