by unknown hand, top center in graphite: 198 09; upper center in graphite: 70; lower right in graphite: 91.4428; lower right in graphite: B; on verso, by unknown hand, upper center in graphite: 71; center in typeset print on paper label: "THE BELLE OF THE PERIOD." / FASHION is no less a tyrant in Japan than in Western Countries - and the numerous particulars which have to be / attended to by the "Beldle of the period" in the matter of the pattern and style of the dress, the mode of putting / up the hair, the selection of colours, &c., are more than one uninitiated into these mysteries can pretend to / describe. It is in the "obi" or girdle, however, that all this culminates; and to be out of the fashion in the matter of / the pattern of the "obi" should be of a pattern spangled with chrysanthemum flowers, - like the chrysanthemum of / the Mikado's crest. / The change of mode is a very serious matter for the pocket of the unhappy individual who is taxed to provide / these articles for any "Belle of the period.' This fact will be obvious enough when it is stated that one of these / "obis" the present pattern cost no less a sum than thirty and a half dollars.
Michael and Jane Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, acquired 1991; gift to NGA, 2012.