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Antique Fashion & Costume Plates

Part 10 - The Queen Magazine, Harpers & Bazaar
Fashion History

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Part 10 - Antique Fashion & Costume Plates

The Queen Magazine Fashion Plates

The Queen Magazine 1861

More C19th important fashion magazines are dealt with on earlier pages.  In the main the French fashion magazines made more impact than any other publications.  All others looked to France for inspiration.

One of the longest running English female magazines was The Queen magazine that began in 1861.  Samuel Beeton started the publication as a weekly newspaper containing very little about fashion.  It was concerned initially about social events, occupations, literary interests and other inoffensive amusements suitable for ladies.  The full title was The Queen, the Ladies' Newspaper.

The early sale of The Queen in 1862 to William Cox meant a change in the fortunes of the magazine which soon included fashion plates he obtained from Paris.  Cox made a good choice in using plates from The Petit Courrier des Dames and the artist was of course one of the best - A. Pauquet.  A little later work of the artist E. Préval also appeared from the magazine he worked for called Journal des Demoiselles.  Of course works by these early artists for Queen were on smaller paper than later fashion plates because the original plates were smaller. 

The inclusion of French plates was so important that the address given for the Queen was No.1 Boulevard des Italiens the address of the French Petit Courrier offices.  By the late 1860s, The Queen fashion plates were enlarged to match the magazine size and plates were most often of two adults plus a child or plates exclusively of children's clothes.  Variations of plates continued and in the 1880s included large group formations as well.

The Queen Magazine

The Queen Magazine Group Fashion Plate

The latest slim fashions of 1880 shown as a group of figures.


Some of the best and most artistic plates were issued after 1888 and were by the artist  A. Sandoz.

Some of the best and most artistic plates were issued after 1888 and were by the artist  A.Sandoz. Sandoz

The Sandoz plates had very English settings and are essentially English in origin.  They were only issued in Britain, but coincided with the trend at the time to produce larger fashion plates.  La mode Illustrée also followed this trend to larger plates.   The Queen fashion plates usually measure about 11" by 15". 

The single Sandoz plates appeared for 10 years 1888-1898 as a hand coloured supplement and was issued just at the start of each month rather than weekly.  In 1898 The Queen abandoned hand colouring and moved to chromolithography - the colour printed fashion plate.  You may be interested to know that The Queen magazine was the last English magazine to retain hand colouring until economic forces meant the inevitable move with the times to mechanised colour printing.

The Queen Magazine

The Queen Magazine Fashion Plate by Sandoz The Queen Magazine Fashion Plate by Sandoz The Queen Magazine Fashion Plate by Sandoz
The last of bustle styles by A. Sandoz

Even now, The Queen is a fashion magazine that survived longer than any other British fashion and style magazine.  It often seems that Vogue has been running forever, but Vogue was not published in the UK until 1916.  The Queen ran well until the 1960s when because of its huge success it suddenly faced deliberate competition from Harpers Bazaar an equally upscale magazine competitor directed at the same customer base. The deliberate pursuit of the existing Queen magazine market succeeded and The Queen magazine was sold in 1968.


Harpers & Queen

Bazaar coverAfter the sale Harpers took over running it as a combined magazine re-launch with the new name Harpers & Queen.  Usually when magazines amalgamate the second name gets smaller and smaller until the second name disappears.  But this amalgamation has been hugely successful and although the word Queen is far too small it does still appear on the magazine cover, making Harpers & Queen one of the world's ultimate style bibles for high society and the aspiration of those upwardly mobile today almost 40 years later.

A few months after writing this page I find that sadly the Queen name is now thought too Debutante like, in a modern world and so will be removed.

From March 2006, Harpers & Queen will be called Harpers Bazaar.


Arghhh - not again - another name change for this long lived magazine.
In September 2007 to celebrate the new look Harper's BAZAAR, 50,000 London newsstand copies of bazaar were each studded with 200 Swarovski crystals on the updated new title.  The move to the new logo was to bring Harper's BAZAAR in line with sister titles globally. 

Bazaar is pressing forward to make itself an iconic international fashion brand and is a strong challenger to the iconic world of Vogue.

Other Magazines

There were no end of fashion magazines launched in the C19th.  They lasted from a year to half a century or more.

Two other Victorian English magazines of note were Sylvia's Home Journal 1878-1894 and The Lady's Treasury 1858-1895, both of which published French fashion plates at various times in their life.  So there were plenty of fashion magazines around the turn of the C19th century.  You can see some images of lace and collars from The Lady's Realm on an older page here.

These 1890s plates below are from France Mode 1892 and The Queen.  They show how sleeves began to gain fullness which culminated in the largest of leg o'mutton sleeves about 1895 and at the turn of the century it began to fall down the sleeve to become slim line or more blouson in the lower section.

This last set of plates is Edwardian and are intricate graphics from the wonderful magazine Chic Parisien of 1906. They can be used as colouring in pictures.  They highlight elements important to Edwardian fashion - the blouse, gowns dripping with lace and the tailor made.


Chic Parisien Images of 1906

Set your printer to print the central blouse image sideways. The end images fit on A4.

The tailor made suit - Chic Parisien Images of 1906 The Edwardian Blouse dripping with lace - Chic Parisien images of 1906 Chic Parisien sugar almond coloured gown of 1906

Page revised Oct 15 2007.

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©Copyright 2005-2011
These images should not be reproduced in printed book form matter, as greetings cards, gift wrap etc., or as part of any electronic material such as a CD, DVD, TV videos, ebooks, websites or similar item. 

Please DO NOT write to me asking for advice on your fashion plate as NONE can be given.

This Fashion Plates Page Added 8 Oct 2005

For more about Fashion Plates
click on the title that you need:-

Some images in this section are courtesy of eBay seller Cabrio4

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