Sunday, May 15, 2011


As before, another post on color, the definitions coming from Elephant's Breath & London Smoke.  This time, Pink.  It's not just for girls!  The term "pink" or "pinke" comes from Dianthus flowers.  Their edges appear to be "pinked" and they are rosy in tone.  Originally the color pink was a yellow tone, but was usually our definition by the late 18th century (with the exception of "Dutch pink").  There's still a big question as to why pink meant yellow, although seeing why pink was later associated with the color of a flower by the same name is more obvious.

Pink: A fmall fragrant flower, of the gillyflower kind. ...Any thing fupremely excellent. A reddifh colour refembling that of a pink. Royal English Dictionary, 1775.
Rose: Rofe-pink is a very beautiful colour, inclining more to the purple than fcarlet. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1797.
Blush: A red or purple colour. Dictionary of the English Language, 1792.
Carnation: a raw Flefh colour. English Dictionary, 1717.
Coral: it is usually of a fine red colour. Complete Dict. of the English Language, 1797.
Peach Blossom: The peach bloffom is a mixture of bay, white, and forrel, in fuch proportion as to refemble, in fome degree, the colour of the bloffoms of the peach tree. Treatise on Cattle, 1776.
Puce: In the fummer of 1775, the queen being dreffed, in a brown luteftring, the kind good humouredly obferved, it was "couleur de puce," the colour of fleas. Domestic Anecdotes of the French Nation, 1800.

My favorite for the post is, of course, Puce.  Not only does it have a hilarious story to go with, but takes the world by storm.  They had separate colors for old and young fleas, even for specific areas of the flea; the belly, the back, the thigh, and the head!

MAG Silk Gown, 1770-80


Lauren said...

I love these "color" posts, they are absolutely fascinating! I also like that you are using the f's for s's, old school :-)

Anonymous said...

Bless you for the enlightenment and rare hues.
I have my DMC and Anchor
charts at the ready.. a
piece of intricate stitches
embroidered soley with puce
can you imagine?

ColeV said...

Puce is one of the best colors! We actually have a play which was written about fashion, and most of it centers around Puce as the new rage (how can I go to the ball wearing blue?!). It's not running now, but it might come back up next year.

Gema said...

Very nice blog you havve here