Here are some fashion plates from Ackerman’s Repository that were the inspiration for Abigail’s gowns in The Abandoned Countess.

This is one of the gowns that Abigail chooses between on the night of the Jacob’s soiree. The original fashion plate in the Ackerman’s Repository shows the gown in a rich pink but for Abigail’s colouring I thought sage green would be more appropriate.

Here is the original description that accompanied the fashion plate:

“A round Circassian robe of pink crape, or gossamer net, over a white satin slip, fringed full at the feet; a peasant’s bodice of pink satin or velvet, laced in front with silver, and decorated with the same ornament. Spanish slash sleeve, embellished with white crape foldings, and finished at its termination with bands of silver.

A Spartan or Calypso helmet cap of pink frosted crape, with silver bandeaus, and embellished with tassels, and rosets to correspond. A rich neck-chain and ear-rings of Oriental gold.

Fan of carved ivory. Slippers of pink kid, with correspondent clasps; and gloves of white kid: an occasional square veil of Mechlin lace.”

This is the second gown and the one that Abigail chooses to wear to the Jacob’s soiree. In the book the gown is ivory silk and has a V neck instead of the square neck as shown here.

Here is the original description that accompanied the fashion plate:

“A round robe of fine Georgian cloth, a pale olive colour, with full puckered sleeves, of white satin.

The waist ornamented in horizontal waves of crimson and gold trimming; bows of the same at the pockets, and on the shoulders, and bordered at the feet to correspond. A French quartered cap, composed of satin and thread lace, ornamented with bows of net, and a wreath of barberries.¬†The hair as a curled crop. A necklace consisting of a treble row of pearls, confined in the center with a large ruby. Ear-rings and bracelets to correspond. Pale lemon-coloured gloves below the elbow. White satin slippers, with silver rosettes; and a long occasional scarf of crimson Cashmire, richly bordered at the ends.”

Last but certainly not least, this was the inspiration for the dress Sophia commissioned for Abigail at Madame D’Argue’s boutique. The swatch of cerulean silk below it is a good indication of the colour I had in mind and this was used for the whole of the gown, not just the bodice.

Here is the original description that accompanied the fashion plate:

“A white crape, or fine muline petticoat, worn over white satin, embroidered in silver lama round the bottom. A bodice of olive, or spring-green satin, ornamented with a silver stomacher. Short, full sleeve, and rounded bosom, trimmed¬†with a full silver border to correspond.

A fan frill of fluted lace, continued round the back, and terminating in front at the corner of the bosom. A silver fringe round the bottom of the waist.

The hair in irregular curls in front, falling low on each side, drawn smoothly on the crown of the head, and brought in a small bunch of curls at the back. A bandeau of pearl, twisted round the curls behind. Necklace and cross of pearl ear-drops, and bracelets to correspond. Occasional scarf of white silk, richly embroidered in silver and coloured silks. Gloves of white kid. Slipps of green satin, with silver rosettes.

A round robe of fine Georgian cloth, a pale olive colour, with full puckered sleeves, of white satin.”