18th-Century Engraving, Ancient English Dresses

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18th-Century Engraving, Ancient English Dresses

Regular price £295.00
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This late 18th-century engraving from Thomas Bankes’ ‘New and Authentic System of Universal Geography’ depicts the evolution of ladies' fashion between 1590 and 1630.

In this unusual gathering of time-sensitive females, we see a representative from 1590, 1626, and 1630. Nowhere else would you witness these women gathered together, for it would be an extraordinary faux pas to don late 16th-century attire in the 1630s. Heavens, lady number one is utterly hatless, the shame of it all.

Upon a visit to England in 1592, a visitor remarked "many a one does not hesitate to wear velvet in the streets, which is common with them, whilst at home perhaps they have not a piece of dry bread."

The publication ‘New and Authentic System of Universal Geography’ had the boldest of ambitions. Authored by the industrious Reverend Thomas Bankes, the vicar of Dixton, Monmouthshire, it sought to explain the known World in all its nuance and complexity.

The title page is a veritable smorgasbord of exciting claims including ‘genuine history and description of the whole world’ and ‘complete history of every empire, kingdom and state’. It’s a ‘complete atlas’, a ‘complete guide to geography, astronomy, the use of globes, maps etc’, ‘also an account of the most remarkable battles, sieges, sea-fights, and various revolutions that have taken place in different parts of the World’.

‘The whole forming an authentic and entertaining account of everything worthy of notice throughout the whole face of nature, both by land and water’.

What more could you need? Throw in a few plays and it’s your perfect desert island companion.

This was Reverend Thomas Bankes’ lasting legacy - a gargantuan folio of 990 double-columned pages. His life’s work. Quite an inspiration.

Held in a contemporary glazed frame.

Learn more about Thomas Bankes in our directory.

Medium: Engraving on laid paper
Overall size: 13” x 12” / 33cm x 30cm
Year of creation: c. 1797
Condition: Artwork presents well.

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