French Fashion Plate Collection: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Charla DelaCuadra.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Prints and Ephemera
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
© 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

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
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.


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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.

Box  1

Fashion plates, 1807-1831

Box  2

Fashion plates, 1832-1833

Box  3

Fashion plates, 1834-1835

Box  4

Fashion plates, 1836

Box  5

Fashion plates, 1837

Box  6

Fashion plates, 1838

Box  7

Fashion plates, 1839

Box  8

Fashion plates, 1840

Box  9

Fashion plates, 1841-1842

Box  10

Fashion plates, 1843

Box  11

Fashion plates, 1844

Box  12

Fashion plates, 1845-1847

Box  13

Fashion plates, 1848-1850

Box  14

Fashion plates, 1851-1853

Box  15

Fashion plates, 1854-1856

Box  16

Fashion plates, 1857-1858

Box  17

Fashion plates, 1859-1860

Box  18

Fashion plates, 1861-1862

Box  19

Fashion plates, 1863-1864

Box  20

Fashion plates, 1865-1866

Box  21

Fashion plates, 1867-1868

Box  22

Fashion plates, 1869-1870

Box  23

Fashion plates, 1871-1884

Box  24

Fashion plates, 1885-1897