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The Ladies Field

George Newnes, 7-12 Southampton Street, Strand, London

When The Ladies Field was founded in 1898 it was advertised as the most luxuriant example of high artistic journalism that has yet seen the light of day. The magazine focussed on women's sport, pastimes and fashions. It was published by George Newnes, who also published Wide World Magazine for which Blampied did some illustrations early in his career as an independent illustrator, as well as the cover of a cheap paperback novel. It is a rare magazine but the pages in colour are often removed and sold separately as fashion prints, which is how I obtained the pictures shown below.

Blampied provided eight large watercolour drawings of women's fashions for the London Season's Number in May 1913 and three more for the same number in May 1914. These were substantial commissions for a relatively new artist for magazines. I have one of the original drawings, which is shown left. It was cleaned for me by Lisa Oxenden-Wray of Baudains Art Conservation in Jersey. The yellow of the woman's dress has faded a little. I enhanced the colours using Skylum Luminar software.

I have searched all issues from January 1912 (volume 56, issue 721) to December 1915 (volume 72, number 936), a total of 215 issues.

Published: weekly from March 1898 (vol 1, no 1) to March 1922, (vol 96, no 1254)

Numbering: 13 issues per volume, numbered sequentially

Price: 6 pence in 1912

Pages: not recorded

Dimensions: 380 x 280 mm

Editor: not recorded

Printer: not recorded

Blampied issues: 4

Image of watercolour drawing

An original drawing on Whatman board for The Ladies Field

◀ A Competition for Ladies

In January 1912 The Ladies Field ran a competition for its readers to list the 10 mostly commonly identified faults in man from a comprehensive list of masculine failings (see left). The first prize was any hat costing 15 guineas, an amount which is equivalent to about £1,500 in 2020 in terms of purchasing power, based on the retail prices index.

The probability of chosing the 10 most commonly identifed faults randomly from the list of 72 failings is equal to:


= 0.0000000000000000005

= 1 in 1,945,805,859,770,570,000, which is nearly 2,000 trillion to one.

Even getting five right by chance would be 17,000 million to 1. I know it's not a random process, but I wonder how many women got three on the list of 10 by chance alone, which has a probability of nearly 360,000 to 1.

There's one attribute that isn't listed: nerdiness.

Image of page

Advert in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph. Click to enlarge.

Type: MO = monochrome drawing; CO = colour drawing; the number indicates the number of drawings or pages.

Click on any thumbnail image to see a larger image; press the Back button on your browser to return to this page; click on the links at the top to return to other pages.

— 1912 —

Issue: 23-Nov-1912, vol. 59, no. 767, page 569. Price: 6d. Type: MO1. Title: Love at first sight.

[This is a large line drawing. A young woman in large hat holds up the front of her long skirt while she leans forward to look down at a small seemingly smiling dog who is looking up at her. Nothing else in drawing except outline of tree and house in the rear distance. Woman seems to have patterened stockings. Slightly out of place as more of a cartoon than a fashion drawing.]

— 1913 —

Issue: 3-May-1913, vol. 61, no. 790, London Season's Number, pages 521-528. Price: 1/-. Type: CO8. Titles: Visiting gown (p 521); Moire silk gown and coat (p 522); Afternoon frock (p 523); Brocade evening gown (p 524); Contrasted silk coat and skirt (p 525); Gown of cascadeuse crepe silk (p 526); Design for one of the new ribbed silks (p 527); Taffetas cloak (p 528).

[These images were obtained as single pages, removed from the original magazine. They are shown in page order, from left to right.]

Image of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawingImage of drawing

— 1914 —

Issue: 16-May-1914, vol. 65, no. 844, London Season's Number, pages 676, 677 & 682. Price: 1/-. Type: CO1. Title: Taffetas frock (p 676); Moire taffetas evening gown (p 677); The fashion for striped taffetas (p 682).

[Images are available for 2 pages of the magazine, found framed in a charity shop in Chelsea. The third (the middle image) is the original drawing, slightly faded, without the caption.]

Image of drawingImage of watercolour drawingImage of drawing

Issue: 6-Jun-1914, vol. 66, no. 847, Summer & Travel Number, page 11 & 14. Price: 1/-. Type: CO2. Title: En ville (p 11); En voyage (p 14).

[Two more collour illustrations of women's fashions. No images available.]