Victorian Fashion & Costume Plates
Part 7 - The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com
Victorian Fashion & Costume Plates from the 1860s
Part 7 - The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine Fashion Plates 1869
Samuel Beeton founded two of
the most important British fashion magazines of the C19th. These Victorian magazines were
Beeton'sThe Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine and The Queen.Lindsay, owner of
an 1869 edition of 'The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine', kindly sent me these wonderful fashion
plates. All the pictures are thumbnails, which enlarge to full A4 size.
Last year Lindsay the owner of these fashion plates also sent me a
fascinating photograph of Charlotte a young Victorian woman whom he knew
to be a relative, but was unsure of which 'great' grandmother she was. Using historical images such as fashion plates like these, together we
came to the conclusion that the date of Charlotte's photograph sitting
Read more below.
You may have read recently in the
UK newspapers about a rare 1863 copy of a Victorian magazine to be
auctioned at the end of the November 2007, by Auctioneers in Derbyshire. It seems
the auctioneers expect that the edition will fetch £200-£300 at auction. I've no doubt
it will after all the publicity the auction house has generated!
I have to say that I don't consider such items as rare as the auction
house seems to think. Search eBay on a regular basis and this type of bound
book whether Petersons, Grahams, Petit Courrier des Dames or World of Fashion all
at some point, appear in the fashion and costume plate listings.
Within just a day of seeing the Victorian snippet article in
the Times and the Telegraph, I received an email from a site visitor
saying an octogenarian relative of his had ... "just seen an article ...
about The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. Now she has unearthed a green
covered book dated 1867, with the same title..."
Rare? Not so rare I think. Desirable, if you are passionate about
fashion plates. Many families just keep such items in their household as
treasures from another generation to the next, and now and again they get out the book to look at the lovely plates.
Americans and Australians seem to have larger lofts than we British, consequently they appear to find hordes of such memorabilia in grandma's pile of inherited goods; boxes that were never really sorted after
clearing great-grandma's home.
Lindsay, owner of a 1869 edition of The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine,
inherited his fashion plates in much the same manner. He would never
sell them, but he kindly sent me scans of these wonderful fashion
plates back in 2004 and they have been on the site since 2005. These thumbnails enlarge to full A4 size.
You can also see many more fashion plates on fashion-era.com simply by
using the search button.
The Englishwoman's Domestic
Magazine began in 1852, but it contained only nondescript black
and white images until 1860. Aware of the growing interest in
fashion, style and manners from the new middle classes, in 1860 Beeton began to
import tinted fashion plates directly from
David in Paris. Every month for the
next 25 years a fashion plate graced The Englishwoman's Domestic
Magazine. With falling sales it merged into The Milliner,
Dressmaker and Warehouseman's Gazette in 1877 although still
publishing fashion plates by David and ceased business 1881.
Last year Lindsay the owner
of these fashion plates sent me a fascinating photograph of Charlotte a
young Victorian woman whom he knew to be a relative, but was unsure of
which 'great' grandmother she was. Together we came to the
the date of Charlotte's photograph sitting was 1869-1871.
Imagine then my surprise when some months later he scanned these lovely
fashion plates and sent them to me. It suddenly dawned on me that they had probably been
pored over by Charlotte who was indeed following the latest fashions of
the day. Her hairstyle bears a strong resemblance to the main lines
shown in the plates here as does the cut of her bodice and the set of
the long cuffed sleeve lines.
Fashion plates like these are
especially helpful in dating photographs. Here I have removed the
sleeves from 6 of the plates above to show the general silhouette line of the
sleeve style. Obviously, there was some variation as expressed in the
flamboyance of the theatrical angel sleeve in the header. However,
in the main the sleeves of 1869 - 1871 were slim line and cuffed or pie
crust frilled as in
You are reading an original fashion history article by Pauline Weston
Thomas at fashion-era.com.
I also own some of the
fashion plates from this magazine and can confirm the text makes
fascinating reading drawing the reader into a world of how to conduct
oneself and organise life to perfection in the late C19th.
here to go to another
page which shows the images grey scale. The thumbnails there will enlarge
to make A4 prints for colouring in.
Use them in class situations.
They can be coloured either by watercolour or use water soluble pencils.
Instruct students to stroke the images with gentle pencil strokes then
use a lightly damp paint brush to blend and merge colours. This will
give them an idea of the hand work that colourists did to tint plates.
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