Twenty-seven hand-colored steel engraved fashion plates from four early/mid-19th century European women’s magazines. Plates vary in size, with an average size of 27x20cm. Most plates look to have been cut out of their original magazine page and then mounted on cream stock paper with a hand drawn double-line border and handwritten date along the top border and the name of the originating magazine along the bottom border, in black ink. Stock paper mounted on brown loose scrapbook pages, 30.5x25cm. The plates were taken from the following magazines: La Belle Assemblée (1 plate), Lady’s Magazine (1 plate), and World of Fashion (20 plates) which were published in London, and Petit Courier des Dames (5, full page plates) published in Paris. This collection contains plates from a variety of months and years ranging from November 1824 to June 1849, almost half are from 1832. Light foxing and toning to most, and only one tear to cardstock, but does not affect plate. Scrapbook pages have chips and tears, which do not affect plates or card stock. Better than Very Good.
Fashion plates became popular in the early to mid-19th century, even though fashion descriptions and illustrations appeared briefly in some women’s magazines earlier. Usually produced through etching, line engraving, or lithography and then colored by hand, the fashion plates showed the high fashion of the day, not the everyday style but the aspiring style of the upper class. Beyond the latest fashion, the magazines also advertised the names of dressmakers, hair stylists, and jewelers that offered the featured designs. Specifically, Mary Ann Bell, wife of the owner of World of Fashion, became the fashion editor of said magazine around 1824, where she advertised her own shop, “Magazin de Modes”, that supplied the Parisian fashions, fabric, and accessories featured in the magazine.