Thursday, May 19, 2011


Next to Orange on the color spectrum, but on opposite ends of easy to find.  Yellow seems to be everywhere in 18th century garments.  And it's one of my favorite colors for clothing of that time (I have a yellow Brunswick and have started a yellow striped Robe a la Francaise and a yellow Caraco).
Again, definitions from Elephants Breath and London Smoke.

Yellow: a bright colour, refembling gold. Royal English Dictionary, 1775.
Straw: Straw Yellow. Is a Pale Yellow, a mixture of Sulphur Yellow and Reddifh Grey. Philosophy of Mineralogy, 1798.
Canary: For the light fhades of yellow, fuch as ... canary-bird colour. Elements of the Art of Dyeing, 1791.
Chamois: a yellow or rather chamois colour. Elements of the Art of Dyeing, 1791.
Citrine: the Colour of a Pomecitron, or golden Colour. Dictionarium Anglo-Britannicum, 1708.
Jonquille: To produce yellow with more of a gold or jonquille color... Encyclopaedia Perthensis, 1816.
Lemon: Lemon Yellow. Is pure Yellow. Philosophy of Mineralogy, 1798.
Primrose: Primrose Yellow, is gamboge yellow mixed with a little sulphur yellow and much snow white. Werner's Nomenclature of Colours., 1814.
Saffron: A flower or plant which is ufed in tincturing any thing yellow, &c. Royal English Dictionary, 1775.
Sulphur: Sulphur yellow. Is a light Greenifh yellow. Philosophy of Mineralogy, 1798.

V&A Silk Mitts, 1780-1800

Met Silk Gown, 1780-85


PvtSam75 said...

I have to say, I have a lot more 18th century clothes in yellow than I do 21st century clothes! It's not a color I would usually consider wearing, but for some reason I've accumulated several petticoats, a pair of stays, and a short cloak in yellow!

Anonymous said...

Love the yellow color items. The shoes are just my all time favorite. I can't imagine wearing shoes as wonderful as those. The yellow and purple brocade are my favorite. Where do you come up with such wonderful pictures. You are amazing.

ColeV said...

Sam: I'm the same way! I do have one yellow modern cardigan, but most yellows now are far too bright and synthetic for my skin tone.

Rebecca: I actually spend about an hour everyday going through books and online museum collections to find it all. This just really helps me to organize what I find, rather than keeping hundreds of links around! And yellow shoes are amazing (that's why I'm making a pair! Squee!).

The Dreamstress said...

Be still my heart! I'm with you on loving 18th century yellow. They has such fantastic tones compared to modern yellows.

I remember reading something about yellow dyes being hard to get in early Colonial America, and so all yellow fabrics were imported from Europe, and when the Revolution happened, colonists didn't wear yellow. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read it and now I can't find a mention of it!