Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Carington Bowles Calash

Carington Bowles

Miss Calash in Contemplation
This Lady reads, then tripping thro' the grove, Turns all her thoughts to rural bliss and love

13 x 17½ inches

A mezzotint droll in original hand colour; published by Carington Bowles in London 1780.

This charming droll shows a fashionable young lady from the bon ton dressed in a daringly short dress but, more significantly, wearing a calash, an elaborate bonnet specifically designed to accommodate the elaborately large hairstyles that were all the rage towards the end of the C18th. We catch her leaving the tranquil surroundings of a waterfall where she has been indulging in a romantic novel. As she makes her way through a roughly hewn archway her thoughts turn to love and a faraway look can be seen in her eyes. The heavily applied blue eye makeup and 'large hair' are as reminiscent of the 1970s as the 1780s and remind us that the pursuit of love is a timeless endeavour.

These amusing and carefully constructed drolls were, and remain, highly sought after as decorative items in interior design. They tell us a great deal about the fashions, habits and mores of C18th society.


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