CROSS-DRESSING AND COCKADES IN REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE

Three decrees of the National Convention relating to clothing and dress.

Paris and Chaumont, August–December 1793.

Three pamphlets, 4to; holes to inner margins from earlier stitching, light marks; overall very good.

£375

Approximately:
US $475€438

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Three decrees of the National Convention relating to clothing and dress.

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Three rare and interesting decrees issued by the National Convention in 1793 relating to dress, specifically to dressing in disguise, the wearing of the tricolour cockade, and individual liberty in dressing.

The first, from August 1793, bluntly states that any citizen caught participating in a false patrol (presumably disguised as a member of the National Guard), and any man discovered at gatherings dressed as a woman, would be sentenced to death, in the interests of public safety. The second, issued in September, condemns any woman not wearing the tricolour cockade to eight days’ imprisonment, and anyone who rips off another’s cockade or profanes it to six years’ internment. The final décret, dating from December, decrees that no one may force another citizen to dress in a particular manner (‘everyone is free to wear such clothing and adornments of their sex as they wish’), while making it clear that this does not affect previous legislation relating to the wearing of national cockades, to priests’ clothing, or to cross-dressing (‘les travestissemens’).

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