“From 1830 to 1840, Brummell and the Count of Orsay created a following in France”: true masters of dress and manners, arbiter elegantiarum of both European fashion capitals – London and Paris – their particular way of living in society gave rise to the “absolute dandy”.

The Exposition des dandys opened at the Devambez Gallery on 5 November 1912 took us into the private wardrobe of the most refined gentlemen of the time.

Louis-Philippe silk waistcoats, silk umbrellas and stockings, silk, felt and beaver fur hats for evening wear, outings or driving; ‘royalist’ canes, sticks and riding crops; “romantic and fashionable jewellery from 1830 to 1850”, monocles, carriages, tableware, desk accessories, and so on.

A dizzying list of almost 600 objects celebrated the perillous challenge of ultimate refinement.

 Jacques Boulenger, Le Chic et les Dandys, Paris, Devambez, 1909

Jacques Boulenger and Henri Clouzot (organizers), Exposition des dandys, exhibition catalogue, galerie Devambez, Paris, 5-22 November 1912, Paris, Devambez, 1912