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French Fashion Plate Collection: Finding Aid
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library include:
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    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
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@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.
    Finding aid last updated on November 12, 2014.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

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


    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."

    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.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library include:


    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.  


    Fashion plates.
    Intaglio prints.
    Printed ephemera.


    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.