Famous Tightlacers from the Past - Personages
GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY
1916 painting by Robert Henri. From SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, December, 1999.
MRS. GEORGE GOULD
(Taken from the Mid-Century edition of the Life Yearbooks - 1900-1910 section)
Madame CATULLE MENDES
MRS. JULIUS FAIRCHILD
Mother of Winston
Daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt
A picture from her wedding to Nicholas Longworth
(Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, [1873-1954] at age fifteen.)
Lillian (Bell) Zellman
beautiful... very tragic... talented artist,
Talia sends this 1543 tightwaisted portrait of
Anna von Minckwitz
Artist: Lucas Cranach
An impressively curved Septima M.Collis
Author of A Woman's War
Courtesy Tony from Holland
Stephen K. writes:
'Skittles' Walters, courtesan of Victorian London, noted
horsewoman and famed for having the tightest riding-habit in
Britain. (In Europe, only the Empress Elizabeth could compete with
her for that.) Admirers watching her go by used to speculate on
whether she had to be naked underneath: I strongly suspect there
was a good corset there too!"
attach a scan from my album of old photos. I did
not know who this person was until the update above
However, you will see that the waist is a little bigger on
photo than the other one. I suppose one of them must have
been altered, and no one would alter it to be bigger. Would they?
My great-grandmother attended the Epsom Derby every
Ed: Stephen did not, of course, alter the picture; it was as he found it in Courtesans: Money, Sex and Fame in the Nineteenth Century. The caption stated that it was found among one of her lovers' effects after her death. It may have been altered in antiquity.
The Times (UK) newspaper for December 24, 2006 contained a brief reference to a 19th Century London 'courtesan' called Catherine Walters, who was visited in May 1885 by the British Prime Minister, Gladstone. The article states: 'Gladstone marvelled at the smallness of her waist and then, according to her account, tested the size “by manual measurement”. I searched the Internet to see if I could find any pictures of Catherine Walters. I was unsuccessful, but I did find a few biographical references to her, one of which mentions her practice of riding round Hyde Park in London wearing a very tight-fitting one-piece riding habit. These rides appear to have attracted a lot of attention, presumably as a result of her amazing figure. Browsing though a copy of the book Courtesans by Katie Hickman (published by Harper Collins) I found it contained a photo of Catherine Walters in her famous riding habit. I was unable to obtain a scan, but the drawing (left) of a woman in a similar riding habit, which I found on Google, gives a pretty good idea of how she looked.
(left) The image of a Czech countess, dated 1896. The name of the lady is not recorded, but clearly, like Catherine "Skittles" Walters (a bit above), she believed that a lady of fashion being measured for a good riding-habit should first make sure her stays are laced just as tightly as possible!
(right) Another very impressive waist, displaying Countess Teleki-Bethlen on an 1870s cabinet card. .
BOTH CAN BE
ENLARGED BY CLICKING
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