Dover Book

Text Box with description of Book

    The is one of the numerous historic fashion books from Dover that I have in my collection. They interest me for two main reasons. First, as a rather accomplished seamstress, I have always enjoyed looking at fashion pictures, although I personally have never followed fashion trends, preferring to dress in my own unique manner. Add to that my passion for history, and the two go hand in hand. But the other reason, and perhaps the one that triggered the purchase of the first one for my collection, was that I discovered they are very helpful when I color my numerous historic fashion coloring books. In fact, Tom Tierney who, as far as I am concerned will never be topped in excellence for his portrayal of historic fashion, actually used many of these images downright for his drawings. I have just completed his Spanish and Moorish Fashions, so this book has been in my little current coloring box that gets taken out to my porch table every morning. I am now working on A.G. Smith's Knights and Armor coloring book, and since armor actually was considered a fashion statement in the days it was worn, this book has proved helpful for that project also. To check out all of my Tom Tierney reviews, please visit his Index Page, and while you're at it, you may check out all my reviews related to fashion.
    This particular book follows a similar format of many of the other Dover books of its type. It is a republication of Die Trachten der Völker vom Beginn der Geschichte bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, first published in Leipzig in 1906. There are 104 plates (pages), with numerous images on each page, plus quite a number of accessory pages. The captions, however, are where the problems usually lie in these Dover reproductions, which are prepared by Dover and not reproduced from the original. Especially on the accessory pages, where there are so many little images all squashed together, there are a few errors in numbering or omissions. The original German text is also not included, not even a translation, so there is no further explanation of the images. This is often a problem in many of the Dover Pictorial Archives. If you are just using the book to enjoy the images, or to provide help in coloring accuracy, as I do, it is not much of an issue, but there have been times when I really have needed further information and it just isn't there.
    This particular volume focuses mostly on Europe. The "Antiquity" section, Plates 1-21, covers, as expected, mostly Greek, Roman, and a bit of a few other ethnic groups, such as Egypt and Asia. From then on we go from 500 C.E. to the "present" as least in the time it was published, ending with 1881. The greatest number of plates are from 1000 C.E. to 1700, with only a handful after that. Most of the plates are German and French, with several English and Italian thrown in, and even less for other ethnic groups, including Spanish/Moorish, Slavic, a couple Dutch, and one Mexican, the only non-European page after "Antiquity." Very odd. There are also several plates of Clergy fashion, and they never scrimped, did they, especially the Catholic Church.
    With a great deal of scratching out and rewriting, I finally determined which pages to scan and present for this review. I settled on eight, but could have easily doubled or tripled that number. I tried to get a cross-section of each main era and ethnic group. Incidentally, one of the other extremely annoying aspects of the Dover labeling system is that the numbers are not in order, but skip around, so it takes a while to figure out to which image they belong. I went through every page, every image in this book, and it took me several days. In labeling the plates here, I will only include the main heading, which is the ethnic group and era.

Plate 13: Asia Minor, Antiquity
Plate 33: Norman, 1000-1100

Norman, 1000-1100

Asia Minor, Antiquity

Plate 40: Various Accessories. 1200-1300
Plate 58: Italian, 1400

Italian, 1400

Various Accessories. 1200-1300

Plate 73: English, 1550-1600
Plate 91: Dutch, 1600

Dutch, 1600

English, 1550-1600

Plate 96: French, 1750
Plate 104: German, 1834-1881

German, 1834-1881

French, 1750

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