Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1867 Hung. nemesember
Subjectnemesember nobleman
Culture: Imperial Hungarian/Magyar
Setting: 1848 revolution, Ausgleich, Austria-Hungary mid-19th - early 20thc
Evolution895 Magyar raider > ... > 1867 Hungarian nemesember

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Lukacs 1988 p69-70
​"One hundred and seventy years ago the sudden eruption of Hungarian national consciousness and of Hungarian nationalism began.  The extraordinary rise of Budapest depended on the extraordinary force of Hungarian nationalism in the nineteenth century: extraordinary, because it had much to do with certain characteristics -- strengths as well as weaknesses -- of the Hungarian national genius.  The factor of national character is often eschewed by historians and social thinkers in our times; nonetheless, it is wrong and foolish to ignore, let alone deny, its existence.  From Greece to Ireland, from Italy to Finland, as indeed in Hungary, nationalism proved to be the dominant political idea -- and reality -- of the nineteenth century.  But there were elements in the Hungarian character that do not only distinguish a Kossuth from a Parnell or a Garibaldi or a Mavrocordato; they were ingredients, too, in the rise of Budapest.  That rise in numbers surpassed that of other ancient capitals of newly independent nations, such as, say, modern Athens or modern Rome, but it was not a matter of numbers alone.  It brought about a generation of 1900: writers and scholars, artists and savants, sometimes of worldwide fame.  That was true of Vienna, too, but Vienna in 1900 was the continuation of a great urban and artistic culture that a century before had been already marked by a Mozart, a Beethoven, a Haydn; and by a European political culture manifested by a Metternich or a Kaunitz.  In Budapest an urban and urbane civilization began to flourish at a time when Hungary as still largely unknown abroad.
    "The Hungarian national revival -- the so-called Reform Age of Hungary -- began to blossom after 1825.  It debouched into the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.  Much of this national revival was the inspiration, creation and exemplification of the Greatest Magyar, Count István Széchenyi (the epithet was bestowed on him by his contemporaries), who, together with other amazing achievements, inspired, planned and financed some of the first great buildings of Buda-Pest (including the Chain Bridge, the first permanent -- and very impressive -- bridge between the two cities).  Yet his life, like the national revolution, ended in tragedy.  The fiery and impolitic temperament of his countrymen deserted him.  They poured their hopes into the more radical and sentimental nationalism represented by Kossuth.  The result was the inspiring, but failed Hungarian War of Independence of 1848-49, during which Buda and Pest were twice occupied by an avenging Habsburg-Austrian army.  Both towns suffered from the bombardments of a siege.  But less than twenty years later, the Emperor and Empress of Austria and their cabinet chose to offer a Compromise to Hungary, the so-called Ausgleich of 1867, whereby Hungary received a very substantial share of the privileges and the independence that its leaders had demanded in 1848.  In sum, Hungary got something like near complete Home Rule.  The official name of the Austrian Empire became Austria-Hungary.  It was then that the dynamic increase of the population and the prosperity and growth of Buda-Pest began.  In 1867 its population was less than 270,000; it more than doubled in twenty-five years.  In 1870 it was the sixteenth largest city in Europe; twenty-five years later it was the eighth, larger than Rome, Madrid, Naples, Hamburg, Lisbon, Liverpool, Brussels and Amsterdam.  It was the second largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, having bypassed Prague easily, and coming closer and closer to the size -- and importance -- of Vienna, in more than one way."


* Imperial style 1980 p86 (Katalin Földi-Dózsa, "How the Hungarian national costume evolved" p74-87)
"Socially and economically Hungary lagged behind the rest of Europe in the nineteenth century.  Many Hungarian nationalist leaders felt that only by breaking away from Austria could their country assert herself and generate more trade and industry.  In this political struggle, the national costume once again became a powerful symbol of political independence.
​    "[... T]he defeat of the [1848] freedom movement affected the popularity of the traditional costume.  These clothes were put away in the fifties, not to be seen again until about 1860, when folk dress made a comeback everywhere in Europe.  Everyone on all levels of Hungarian society wore the traditional styles, and no one would be see in public without soutache on his or her clothes.
​    "In 1867 Austria and Hungary settled their differences, and one of the conditions of the truce was self-rule for Hungary.  The most significant outcome of the treaty was the coronation of Franz Josef I in Buda in 1867. It was the Hungarian social event of the century, and nobility from all over Europe attended the coronation.  The only other occasion to warrant such a display was the celebration held in 1896 to mark the thousandth year of the Hungarian nation.  By this time the traditional costume was synonymous with the idea of gala in Hungary.  Every family had at least two gala outfits -- a colorful one and a somber one for important funerals.  People who had no heirloom gala clothes made them by copying costumes from paintings.
​   "The most popular colors in the early nineteenth century were pale blue and clear red trimmed with gray or white fur.  Later in the century purple, dark red, and deep gray were the colors of choice, with mink or marten trim.  These sedate colors contrasted sharply with the vivid colors in vogue in Paris, London, and Vienna. The traditional dresses were decorated with jewelry based on eighteenth-century designs.  The men's buttons, belts, mente sashes, swords, and aigrettes were lavishly enameled and inlaid with turquoise, coral, and other precious stones."

* Racinet 1988 p280 f2.14
"A nobleman wearing a velvet and sable hat -- a kucsma -- set off by an eagle-feather brooch."


​* Аствацатурян 2002 p128