Ackermann’s Repository of Arts

Front Page 1825

This image is of the front page of one of the volumes dated 1825.

The Repository of Arts was an illustrated periodical which focused on art, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions and politics. It was published by Rudolph Ackermann from 1809-1828. The Repository influenced fashion, architecture and literature during the Regency and late Georgian period.  The last issue of The Repository of Arts was published in 1828 before it was taken over by The Repository of Fashion. This new periodical did not last long as in 1829 it merged with La Belle Assemblée, a women’s fashion magazine.

Black Prominade Dress 1828.jpg

This is an image of a black promenade dress from a 1828 edition. 

Each edition of The Repository of Arts contains various images of architectural structures around Britain as well as beautiful illustrations of popular women’s fashions. In several of the editions small squares of fabric which have been attached to the page to display the popular new styles of fabric patterns in some of the illustrations. Some of these are colourfully patterned fabrics which are still in excellent condition despite some pieces being over 200 years old!

Fabric Patterns 1809

This is one of the many examples of fabric squares which have been advertised in The Repository.

The description which accompanies the above fabric samples is as follows:

‘No. 1 is a yellow printed Book muslin, ell-wide, admirably adapted for ladies’ evening dresses, and furnished by Messrs. Smith and Co. 43 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden.

No. 2, a striped muslin, or nainsook, 6-4ths wide, is an extremely elegant article for morning dresses, and was supplied by Messrs. Brisco and Powley, 103 New Bond Street.

No. 3 is a printed cambric-muslin, 9-8ths wide. It is a highly fashionable article, and uncommonly elegant, from the delicacy of its design and print, which have authority to assure the public to be a permanent colour. It was furnished by the same house as the preceding pattern.

No. 4. This chintz, or shawl pattern marcella, ¾ wide, is a truly elegant and fashionable article for gentlemen’s waistcoats. It was furnished by Messrs. Richard Smith and Co. 2 Prince’s Street, Leicester Square.’

Some editions also contain various fashionable furniture pieces as well as intricate interior designs. Several designs from The Repository focus on Gothic styled pieces which include chairs, beds, bookcases and fireplaces amongst other elaborate pieces. Each piece is highly detailed, beautifully illustrated and coloured in with brief descriptions on the design and function of each piece.

We hold a complete set of Ackermann’s Repository of Arts which have been bound into 40 Volumes. They are free for the public to view as long as you bring some form of ID with you. You can view our catalogue entry for The Repository of Arts here.

Red Prominade dress 1825

This is a red promenade dress from 1825. 

The above image taken from the Repository of Arts is part of our ‘Treasures of Guildhall Library’ Photowall, located in our John Stow Room, which celebrates some of our most iconic and interesting items.

By Lindsey Keeling, Customer Services Apprentice

The Vampyre Regency Ball 2019

Close Up 9

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of John Polidori’s novel The Vampyre. John Polidori was a London born writer and physician who famously accompanied Lord Byron on his trip through Europe in 1816, where they encountered Mary Wollstonecraft and her soon to be husband Percy Bysshe Shelly at Lake Geneva, Switzerland. It was this encounter which inspired Polidori to write his gothic novel The Vampyre.

First published in The New Monthly Magazine in April 1819, The Vampyre was falsely attributed to Lord Byron despite both Byron and Polidori denying that he was the author. Later in 1819 it was published in book form and called The Vampyre: a Tale. It was still falsely attributed to Byron and was only corrected in later editions. A first edition copy of this book is available to view at Guildhall Library. 

The Vampyre

This is the front page taken from our copy of The Vampyre 

 

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of The Vampyre, we invite you to attend The Vampyre Regency Ball which is to be held on Friday 6th of September. Discover for yourself what it might have been like to attend a Regency Ball in a historical setting with expert dance tuition from Mrs Bennet’s Ballroom and live Regency music from Fortuna Trio. Regency dress is encouraged.

 

Friday 6th September

7.30-10.30pm

Livery Hall Guildhall, Basinghall Street

London, EC2V 5DH

Tickets:

£40 plus booking fee.

£30 Full time students

To book:

ghlevents.eventbrite.co.uk or in person without the booking fee at:

Guildhall Library

Aldermanbury, London, EC2V 7HH.

020 7332 1871 or 020 7332 1868.

ghlevents@cityoflondon.gov.uk