The fashion bible

By HOLLAR, Wenceslaus, 1643 
£3,000
£2,400

Theatru[m] mulierum sive varietas atque differentia habitum foeminei sexus, diuersorum Europae nationum hodierno tempore vulgo in usu

Social & Political
  • Author: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Sold by H. Overton at the White Horse without Nw-gate
  • Publication date: 1643 [but c1717].
  • Physical description: Oblong 4to (201 by 249mm). Etched title and 48 etched plates (each measuring approximately 58 by 89mm) by Hollar on 24ff. (i.e. printed two to each leaf), nineteenth century half green morocco, lettered in gilt on the upper cover, rubbed at the extremeties, title soiled with tears and losses to lower margin, now mounted ono conservation tissue, final leaf foxed an lightly soiled with small creases and tears to outer margins.
  • Dimensions: 201 by 249mm. (8 by 9.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18268

Notes

A fine later example of Hollar’s Theatrum mulierum’, or Theatre of women’.

Originally published by Peter Stent in 1642 with between 36 and 49 engraved plates, the Theatrum’ showed female figures wearing a range of costumes and dress from across Europe. Throughout the following decades, and indeed centuries, further editions of the Theatrum’ were published, their various prints total around 105. Examples include An English Lady of Quality”, A Machanicks wife of Paris”, An Irish woman”, A laysister of the Order of St Clare”. Of perhaps greater interest in a book about the costume of women are the three plates of the costume of men: A regular Cannon of the Order of Premonstratum”, A Carthusian”, and a Nortortine Monk of the Order of Praemonstratentium”. 

Bibliography

  1. Colas 1465
  2. Hier 443
  3. Lipperheide 30
  4. NHG Hollar 487–527 all final state
  5. Pennington 1804–1907
  6. Stent E1‑4.

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