||c1892 First Edition Etiquette Book The Ladys Dressing Room Vintage Corsets The Toilette Perfumes Cosmetics Hair Dress Wrinkles Freckles Warts Obesity Care of the Body
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The Ladys Dressing Room Victorian Antique Book.
This very scarce, incredible book dates to 1892, a FIRST EDITION, and is entitled The Lady’s Dressing Room. It is really quite a fabulous compilation of all the Victorian woman would need to know about The Toilette, Care of the Body, Hair, Corsets, Husbands, Society tips, and more. The topics included are listed below.
The Table of Contents:
The Dressing Room: Its Furnishing. Indispensable Accessories, A More Simple Dressing Room.
The Bath-Room: Its arrangements and appointments. Utensils and accessories. On bathing. Hot, cold and sponge baths. Soothing and refreshing baths. Massage and rubbings. Sea Bathing River bathing. Hydropathy and hydropathic appliances How to clean sponges.
The General Care of the Body: Cleanliness of the body.
The Face: Ablutions of the face. The complexion color. Wrinkles. Sunburn. Freckles. Warts. Diseases of the skin affecting the face. Depilatories. Waters and cosmetics for the face. Cosmetics for the hands, arms, etc. The use of face powder.
The Hair: Fair and dark woman blondes and brunettes. How to dress the hair. How to take care of the hair. How to clean the hair. Diseases of the hair. Baldness. Recipes for preventing the hair from falling out. Pomades and hair oils. How to clean combs and brushes. Ammonia and the hair.
The Mouth: The breath. The lips. Pomades for the lips. The teeth, and how to keep them clean. The gums. Toothache. Tooth powders, dentifrices, elixirs. Tartar. Children’s teeth.
The Voice: The organ. Slight diseases of the throat. Recipes for clearing the voice.
The Eyes: The language of the eyes. The care of the eyes. The eyelashes. The eyebrows. Further advice.
The Nose: Abnormal redness. Hairs in the nose. Small black spots. The science of rhinoplasty.
The Ear: Its properties. Precautions for avoiding deafness. Acoustic fan.
The Hand: Its beauty. Care of the hands. Cleansing of the hands during the day. Damp hands. Sun burnt hands. Fat hands. Chaps. Chilblains. The care of the nails. Gloves. The arm.
The Foot: Conditions of beauty. How to choose boots and shoes. Trying on boots and shoes. How to take care of the feet. In-growing nails. Corns. Cramp in the foot Some useful precautions. How to put on laced or buttoned boots.
Underclothing: The corset and its detractors. The good points of the corset. How the corset should be made. The leg. Garters. How to fasten stockings. The chemise. The night chemise. Dressing in the morning. Undressing for the night. The clothes we take off.
Advice and Recipes: Feminine diet : Nourishment. The life one should live. Secrets of beauty. Pretty octogenarians.
Obesity and Thinness: Stout women. How to avoid growing stout. How to grow thin. Thin women. How to acquire flesh. Concerning aesthetics : rational coquetry. The art of growing old gracefully. Great ladies of society. The secret of looking young. Grace of movement. How to walk. Grace of form. Advice to a stout woman. Principles of dressing.
Divers Counsels: Making up. Various dyes. Modes of softening and strengthening the skin. Nursing and after nursing.
Toilet Waters, Perfumes, Pomades: Toilet waters. Toilet vinegars. Virgin milk. Perfumes : Their antiquity. The choice of perfumes. Sachets. Cold cream. Glycerine. Soaps. Face powder. How to perfume soaps.
Little Hints: How to take care of jewelry. How to take care of furs, feathers, and woolen things. How to clean lace. How to clean and wash woolen materials. How to clean silks. How to clean velvet. Stains. Little hints on various matters of dress.
Appendix: Stings of insects. Migraine and neuralgia. Inflammations. Insomnia. Hay fever.
The books starts with all the necessities required for my lady’s dressing room. That’s is, what the dressing tables should look like, fabric, flooring, and how to arrange combs, brushes, cosmetics, and whatever else is needed to transform the woman into her beautiful self.
One passage reads: The husband should always find the wife fresh, beautiful, sweet as a flower; but he should believe her to be so adorned by Nature, like the lilies of the field. It is just as well that he should not know that her beauty is acquired or preserved at the cost of a thousand little attentions…I cannot conceive how a stout woman can so far forget herself as to appear before her husband in a short petticoat while dressing. If she does so, how can she wonder when she sees him admiring the slim forms of more graceful and slender women…My dear lady, you should hide your imperfections; this is not being false, but it is not necessary to display your defects. On such matters a man likes to be kept in the dark; and he is right…!
On Sea Bathing:
Delicate feet even in summer, would do well to take off their sandals for a few minutes before entering the sea, so as to warm their feet and ankles on the sun baked sand; and such persons will find it advisable to take a few drops of port before entering the sea. It is best to go rapidly into the water, so that the whole body may be immersed in as short a time as possible, care being taken to cover up the hair carefully, as there is nothing so disastrous in effect to a woman’s hair as sea water.
A section on Hydropathy covers not only baths, but also douches, needle baths, packing, rubbing, and massage to be “fitted up”.
Warts may be cured by rubbing them three or four times a day with a potato. Cut the end off the potato, and rub the wart with the part freshly cut; and after each rubbing, cut another slice off the potato. (Or) A wart may be got rid of by steeping it several times a day in castor oil.
On Cutting Hair:
It is necessary to cut about an inch off the ends of the hair at the new moon during the first quarter. The hair will gain as much from one new moon to another; there is no fear, therefore, of diminishing its length. It is best to sleep with the head uncovered. Hair that is left free at night will be finer, more silky, and neater than if it is imprisoned in a cap.
On Making a Pomade or Hair Oil:
Some hair is so dry that it cannot do without pomade for fear of breaking it. To make a pomade, take 3 ounces of the grease prepared in the best manner, 2 ounces of beef marrow, and 1 ounce of sweet almond oil; before these substances are quite stiff and cold, perfume them with 30 minims of essence of bergamot and 1 drachm of essence of violet.
On Foot Corns:
A poultice of the crumb of bread which has been steeped in vinegar for thirty minutes will cure a new corn in one night.
The Good Points of the Corset:
The corset is absolutely necessary for a very stout woman. It controls the exuberance of her bodice, and it is impossible for a fat woman to have any pretense to being well dressed without it…the corset supports the petticoats, which would otherwise lay too heavily on the waist…it serves as a support to the bust.
The Clothes we take off:
Clothes which cannot be washed would be occasionally hung out in the air for a day, then turned inside out…it is most necessary to take precautions against such very disagreeable odours, so antagonistic to all refinement.
On the Complexion:
Tea, coffee, and chocolate are harmless, if they are used moderately. Milk and lemonade, are, on the other hand, excellent for the complexion. Wine should be largely diluted. If it were possible to swallow a glass of hot water before the principal meal, the complexion would be all the better.
On and on it goes, with all the quirkiness and medical quack one could ever imagine. It is indeed amazing that women practiced many of these intimate routines and personal regimens without question. And yet, some of the remedies are still quite good and in use today! After all, it was often the only source of information of this type for miles around, especially so when women lived in outlying rural areas, and relied upon “society women” to give them the tips they needed. All in all, a delightful read, and most definitely a coffee table conversation book.
This hardbound book has greyish cover boards with the title in gilt, and little daisies surrounding it. Just perfect, as in Victorian times, the little daisy symbolized the virtue of Innocence. The size is 5.25 x 7.5 inches, 366 pages. The front and back flyleaf papers have several advertisements and illustrations for products of the period. This book is in VG condition, and quite frankly, is as scarce as hen's teeth! This book has a different slant on etiquette and care of the body than some of the other books we sell. A fine compliment to any library, or for those of you who collect the antique etiquette books.
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