Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Orange was one of the most difficult colors to find extant examples of.  I don't think that means it wasn't worn, it just may not have been the most popular color at that point in history.  Not unlike today, orange seems to be a less common color.  However, extant examples alone can't verify that.  As shown by the first gown, orange can fade to a light pink.  Unless the museum checked the unexposed areas of fabric and noted the change, it would be hard to tell.  I have found a number of paintings with orange gowns, so they certainly do exist!
Again, the definitions from Elephant's Breath & London Smoke.

Flame: Red and Yellow. All the fhades compo'd of thefe two Colours, as ... flame, ... &c. are made with yellow and red of madder. Dictionarium Polygraphicum, 1735.
Aurora: A rich orange hue, the color of the sky at dawn. 1662.
Marigold: Red-lead, grind it with fome faffron and a ftuff gum-lake: the faffron will make it orient and of a marygold Colour. Dictionarium Polygraphicum, 1735.
Amber: A transparent Dark Orange, or a deep shade of Orange-Yellow. Manual of Information, 1875.
Capuchin/Capucine: The colour which result from the mixture of yellow with red. Elements of the Art of Dyeing, 1824.
Copper: Copper Red Is a light Yellowifh Red, with the Metallic Luftre. Philosophy of Mineralogy, 1798.
Coquelicot: the glowing orange, or brilliant coquelicot ... The prevailing colours are, ... coquelicot, La Belle Assemblee, November 1807.
Ruddy: pale red; approaching to red. Orange coloured. Royal English Dict., 1775.


Unknown said...

Very interesting, great topic!

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Very interesting series about color. I think the influence of sun has done lots of harm to many garments and on some pieces we can nowadays only imagine how bright and brilliant the colors once have been. Maybe that has led to the idea that past times haven't been that colorful, sigh...

ColeV said...

Sabine: The sun is horrible here in Virginia. Some of the interpreters clothes look ombre dyed because of it. Navy actually fades to a light grey within a summer or two! It's peeking in the seam allowances that gives an idea of the true color, but sadly museums don't usually post that information.

The Dreamstress said...

How interesting that all the orange colours have faded to such a pale apricot colour. I wonder what the main orange dye of the 18th century was? Whatever the dye, it clearly wasn't very lightfast!