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Historic Costume in Pictures (Dover Fashion and Costumes) Paperback – June 1, 1975

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From 1861 to 1890 the Munich publishing firm of Braun & Schneider published plates of historic and contemporary costume in their magazine Münchener Bilderbogen. These plates were eventually collected in book form and published at the turn of the century in Germany and England. This volume presents all 125 double-spread plates from the third English edition. For the first time, the plates appear in chronological order and with English captions.
Over 1,450 costumed figures are shown, from antiquity to the end of the nineteenth century, covering a wide variety of social classes, and professions: Egyptian and Assyrian kings, Byzantine emperors, Frankish and Norman nobles, priests, servants, soldiers of many lands and eras, crusaders, German knights, pages, Italian scholars, German townspeople, peasants, merchants, Dutch burghers, popes, nuns, bishops, monks, English Puritans and Cavaliers, English and French kings, Swiss citizens, French courtiers and republicans, and many more. In addition, there is excellent coverage of late-nineteenth-century folk and their costumes, captured just before the beginning of standard Western dress—Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Eastern European, Chinese, Japanese, Asian, and others. To avoid the variable and somewhat fanciful depictions of color in the early editions, all costumes are rendered in black-and-white.
A comprehensive source of historic costume in pictures, this remarkable book will be invaluable to costume designers, students of fashion design, commercial artists, and anyone interested in the history of dress. The illustrations are uniformly excellent, and the exceptionally low price makes this book even more attractive.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 2 edition (June 1, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048623150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486231501
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is another book of Victorian redrawings of historical garments and outright inventions and fantasies where ancient clothing is concerned. While it might be useful to theatrical costumers, Victorian recreationists, or those interested in the history of costume illustration or interpretation, it is of no use to those doing historic costuming or interested in costume history.
If you want accurate representations of historic clothing, get a book with reproductions of art from the time period of the clothes you're interested in.
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This book is a reproduction of the 1907 book "Costumes of All Nations" (3rd edition), which in turn was reproduced from a series of plates produced by Braun and Schneider in "Zur Geschichte der Kostume" between 1861 and 1890. Unfortunately, in the process, all of the text (both the German and English) was removed (as was the color). So we have no way of knowing what went along with these drawings.
Furthermore, there are no references of any kind, so you can't go back to the "original" painting, or source to verify the information. It may be helpful for getting ideas, but not for any serious costume design.
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Format: Paperback
If you are interested in the proper history of costume, this book is not for you. It was created in the 19th century, when costume history was at its beginning and it reflects all major faults of the researchers of that time. Many things, claimed to be true at that time, are now proven to be completely wrong. Personally, I have found some blunders in this book. So, if you want to do a thorough and accurate research for your costume, refer to the modern researchers, authentic paintings and manuscripts. Definitely not this book. It is like using 14th century manuscripts for studying modern English.
But if you want to compare the work of modern and Victorian authors - go ahead, this is a wonderful example.
This book can also be quite suitable for those, who are interested in theatrical costume, where looks come first and authenticity does not matter.
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Format: Paperback
Comprhensive text on clothing, the influences and evolution of style. Covers the impacts of cultural changes and how the dictates of fashion are influenced by changes in daily life. Covers historical fads and fancies. A 'must have' basic reference for the amatuer historic costumer.
This review based on the Hardcover version.
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an excellent reference book for artists and costumers with regard to the costume of western Europe and the Mediterranean from Pharonic times to the late nineteenth century... with an addendum to the ancient far east, as well.
A must have for any artist doing period art or costumer doing medieval costuming.
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Format: Paperback
I really like these illustrations, but I am disappointed to hear that there were earlier color versions and they aren't included here. I mean, the black and white illustrations really are lovely, but color would be so much more helpful. It's important to know these are not historically accurate. Historical accuracy is only somewhat a concern for my purposes, so I did enjoy this book. Hopefully in the future I'll come across a better collection of these images.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a picture-book of nineteenth century visions of historic costumes, possibly aimed at nineteenth century people interested in costume parties or plays.

Do not be fooled by the detailed nineteenth century engraving work or the look of these images. They are not old. They are not accurate. They are perniciously, convincingly realistic-looking, thanks to Victorian obsessiveness about fussy little ersatz details. They are not to be relied upon.

Thanks to that very fussy nineteenth century engraving style, they are very useful for collage art. They might also make a fun coloring book.

But rely on them as history? Only if you are interested in the history of late nineteenth century German romantic fantasies about the past.
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