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A Collection Of The Dresses Of Different Nations, Antient and Modern. Particularly Old English Dresses. After The Designs of Holbein, Vandyke, Hollar, and others. With An Account of the Authorities, from which the Figures are taken; and some short Historical Remarks on the Subject. To which are added The Habits of the Principal Characters on the English Stage. Vol. I. (-II.) Recueil Des Habilements De Différentes Nations, Anciens et Modernes, Et en particulier Des Vieux Ajustements Anglois ...

RA Collection: Book

Record number



London: Published by Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, in the Strand., MDCCLVII

Physical Description

2 vols.; 315 mm.

General Note

Vol. I: 47, [1] p., pl. 1-119. - Vol. II: [49-]83, [1] p., pl. 120-240. The plates are hand-coloured.

In Vol. II of this copy, on the back of the French language title-page an engraving has been pasted. Entitled 'Female Domestics of the Island of Tina, one of the Grecian Archipelago', this engraving was published in the 'Universal Magazine of Knowlegde and Pleasure' for June 1780, facing p. 325.


In each volume the plates are preceded by 'A Description Of The Habits'; and in Volume I this is preceded by 'An Account Of The Books, Drawings, and Paintings, From Which The Figures in this Collection Are Taken'.

Summary Note

Publication-dates in these two volumes are given as 1757; two further volumes not included in this copy are given as 1772 (volumes III and IV).

The text and the plate-captions are printed in English and French in parallel.

The plates show the following regions and subjects: Vol. I: Turkey, Tartary, China, Levant, Arabia, Natolia, India, Persia, Egypt and Barbary, Poland, Hungary, Italy; Vol. II: Spain, France, United Provinces, Germany, Sweden and Russia, Scotland, England, Habits of the English Stage.

The work draws on several earlier publications. Among the books cited as sources are those by C. Ferriol, J. Weigel, A. Kircher, J.B. Du Halde, J.F. Le Petit, W. Hollar, E. Burt, J.B. Le Prince, J. Chappe d'Auteroche, J. Speed, F. Buonanni and C. Ripa.

This collection was reissued in 1773 by John Boydell, with cancel-slips pasting his imprint over that of the original title-pages.


Copy 1: Possibly purchased in 1779. Cf. RA Treasurer's Account Book 1768-1795, [April or later in] 1779: 'Paid for Books ... Dresses £1:10s.'
Copy 2 [this copy]: First listed in A catalogue of the Library in the Royal Academy, London, 1841, p. 37.

Copy Note

Copy 2 [this copy]: Volumes I and II only, with the plates hand-coloured.

Binding Note

Copy 1: 19th-century half calf, green cloth-covered boards; rebacked (by Anthony Wessely in 1988), retaining earlier volume number spine-labels but with new title-labels lettered in gilt 'Colletion [sic] Of Dresses'.
Copy 2 [this copy]: 19th-century half red morocco, red linen cloth-covered boards, gilt-tooled spines lettered 'Collection Of Dresses Vol. I (-II.) R.A. 1757.'


Dresses - Costume - Clothing and dress - Great Britain - Europe - Asia - Africa - America - History


Thomas Jefferys, publisher
Anthony Walker, draughtsman
Charles Grignion, engraver

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