French Fashion Plate Collection: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Charla DelaCuadra.
Prints and Ephemera
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: 626-405-2191
Email: rarebooks@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: French Fashion Plate Collection
Dates (inclusive): 1807-1897
Bulk dates: 1832-1870
Collection Number: ephFASH
Extent: approximately 2,400 items in 24 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: 626-405-2191
Email: rarebooks@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains approximately 2,400 fashion plates from primarily French periodicals dating from 1807-1897 that depict contemporary fashions for women, men, and children, with the majority focused on women's fashions.
Language: French and English.
Note:
Finding aid last updated on September 26, 2013.

Administration Information

Access

The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org. 

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information

Preferred Citation

[Item title, Call number]. French Fashion Plate Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

No acquisition information is currently available for this collection. The majority of the fashion plates are mounted on album pages, but a small number of unmounted plates in Boxes 13-17 may have been added from a separate source. Prior references to this collection in Huntington Library shelf lists refer to it simply as "costume prints."

Related materials in the Huntington Library include:

  • Jay T. Last Collection of American Fashion Ephemera
  • Jay T. Last Collection of American and French Fashion Prints

Scope and Content

This collection consists of approximately 2,400 printed illustrations of fashion trends dating from 1807 to 1897, with the majority of items spanning from 1832 to 1870. The images, known as “fashion plates,” were often published in fashion and women’s magazines or in bound volumes and primarily depict women modeling current dress styles, although some also contain children’s and men’s clothing. The majority of the collection is French and most of the tailors, seamstresses, fashion designers, artists, and printers credited on the plates were located in Paris, France.
Periodicals commonly represented in the collection include Le Bon Ton, Le Boudoir, Le Cabinet de Lecture, Le Caprice, Costume Parisiens, Le Follet Courier des Salons, Gazette des Salons, L'Illustrateur des Dames, Journal des Demoiselles, Journal des Femmes, Journal des Jeunes Personnes, Journal des Modes, La Lanterne Magique, Le Magasin des Familles, La Mode, La Mode des Demoiselles, La Mode Illustrée, Modes de Paris, Paris Elegant, Revue de la Mode, La Sylphide, Le Voleur, and several other publications. The English closely followed French fashions during this time period, and the collection also includes a few British plates. One example is an 1861 plate from the London periodical The Queen (Box 18).
The materials in this collection consist predominantly of hand-colored engravings that range in size from approximately 6" x 9" to 10" x 14". Most of the plates are mounted individually on larger loose album pages with mounting corners, tape, and/or adhesive, however a small number of additional unmounted plates are interspersed throughout.

Arrangement

This collection of fashion plates is contained in 24 boxes. The plates are arranged chronologically by year, and grouped loosely by publication within each year span.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Genres

Fashion plates.
Ephemera.
Engravings.
Intaglio prints.
Printed ephemera.

Subjects

Advertising -- Fashion.
Children's clothing -- Pictorial works.
Clothing and dress -- Pictorial works.
Dresses -- Pictorial works.
Fashion -- France -- 19th century.
Fashion -- France -- Periodicals.
Fashion -- Pictorial works.
Men's clothing -- Pictorial works.
Women's clothing -- Pictorial works.