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James Gillray

James Gillray (1756–1815)
And Catch the Living Manners as They Rise
Etching and aquatint, hand colored
300 x 231 mm, on sheet trimmed to plate mark, 351 x 248 mm [London]: Published by H. Humphrey, No. 18 Old Bond Street, 7 May 1794
Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987; 1986.393
Peel Collection; Peel Volume 10, Number 197
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In Austen's letter to Cassandra, written from Bath on 2 June 1799 (MA 977.4), she commented on the style of contemporary hat decorations with evident amusement: "Flowers are very much worn, & Fruit is still more the thing.—Eliz: has a bunch of Strawberries, & I have seen Grapes, Cherries, Plumbs & Apricots—There are likewise Almonds & raisins, french plums & Tamarinds at the Grocers, but I have never seen any of them in hats." Gillray's caricatures satirized ladies who wore enormous ostrich feathers that needed to be glued in place with large quantities of goose grease and hair powder.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.