London. N. Heideloff. 1795.
Handcolored engraving, image approximately 8 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches on sheet size 11 1/2 x 9 inches. Some faint foxing marks, plus a darker mark at upper right of image; very soft crease across the centre of the image only noticeable in raking light. Very good condition. This handcolored antique print from the Gallery of Fashion features two women in late 18th century gowns, lightly dressed for the countryside, enjoying an idyllic summer day with a small boy. In the informative reference book "Hand Coloured Fashion Plates 1770 to 1899" Vyvyan Holland remarks that it "was nearer to the true fashion-plate than anything of its ambitious nature that had preceded it, though it was still meant to be more a record of existing modes than designs for the future... This publication was issued in monthly parts, each part consisting of two aquatints, beautifully coloured by hand and enriched with gold, silver and other metallic tints. The yearly subscription was three guineas, and it lasted until March 1803, when it had completed exactly nine years of existence." Holland estimates that the total number of copies printed of each issue was "never more than 450 at any time" making these plates quite as scarce as they are exquisite. Item #55152