The Turban Headdress

Thomas Richmond


Turban caps trimmed with ostrich feathers and jewels were initially worn in Europe by aristocratic ladies during the 1770s as exotica at fancy dress balls. By the early 1800s though they were, according to the Daily Mail (March 1802), “no longer exclusively the fashion for full dresses” and whilst the prevailing colours for hats were at that time rose and white, “sky blue in turbans shews itself at intervals”.

This young lady, shown in part-profile, is therefore dressed in the very latest fashion with her long auburn curls topped with an eye-catching turban cap with trailing gold tassels.

The portrait is set in a gold fausse-montre frame, the reverse glazed to show plaited hair.

Born at Kew where his father was an innkeeper, Thomas Richmond (1771-1837) was fortunate to have the opportunity to study painting under the direction of his mother’s cousin, the well-established miniaturist George Engleheart whose influence is apparent in his work.

APHA Registered

Item Ref. 7448

Size: framed, 72 x 60mm + bezel

Provenance: Sotheby's, June 1975