"Fire."The Horrors of Crinoline & the Destruction on Human Life.
Published the 14th. April. 1859 by, F.W. Farbrother, 5, Milton St. Euston Square, London.
Fine original hand coloured lithograph, sheet 375 x 275mm. 14¾ x 10¾".
A satire on mid 19th century female fashion; a young lady's dress has caught fire in an interior. Her terrier flees the scene with its tail on fire, an anxious servant with a bucket of water appears at a door in the background. Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a wrap of cotton or linen thread. The fabric first appeared around 1830, but by 1850 the word had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman’s dress in the required shape. The crinoline was the subject of much ridicule and satire, particularly in Punch magazine. Dress reformers did not like it either — they seized upon the cage aspect of the crinoline and claimed that it effectively imprisoned women. Given that the crinoline did eventually have a maximum diameter of up to 180 centimetres (six feet), it is easy to imagine difficulties in getting through doors, in and out of carriages, and the general problems of moving in such a large structure. The second problem was the potential impropriety of the crinoline. Its lightness was a curse as well as a blessing, as a gust of wind or a knock could set it swinging and reveal the wearer's legs. Even worse, if a woman tripped or was knocked over, the crinoline would hold her skirts up.
[Ref: 13108] £130.00