13 December 2019
[HEIDELOFF, Nikolaus Wilhelm von (1761-1839).] Gallery of Fashion. London: 1794-1802.
Extensive set of the first English periodical devoted to fashion, with the two exceptionally rare plates showing gentlemen's fashions, and further explanatory text leaves in French and German. 'The most splendid of English costume books' (Abbey). 'After the Gallerie des Modes came to an end in 1787, there was a gap in the production of really fine costume-plates until 1794, when Nicolaus Wilhelm von Heideloff appears on the scene ... The Gallery of Fashion was ... meant to be more a record of existing modes than designs for the future. Indeed, in an advertisement announcing his forthcoming publication, Heideloff says that the dresses "are not imaginary but really existing ones", and he goes on to say that they are intended to be "a Repository of English National Dresses of Ladies". This publication was issued in monthly parts, each part consisting of two aquatints, beautifully coloured by hand and enriched with gold, silver and other metallic tints.' (Vyvyan Holland, Hand Coloured Fashion Plates 1770 to 1899, pp. 46-48). The two plates relating to gentlemen's fashions were published in 1796 and are bound here in the correct chronological order; excepting Tooley, they are not mentioned in any other bibliography. This set is without volume IX, described as 'notoriously rare' by Abbey (Life, 218); Colas 1170; Lipperheide Zb10; Tooley 258.
Volume 1-8 (of 9) bound in 4 volumes, quarto (292 x 222mm). Additional text leaves in French and German from vol. VI onwards. 8 hand-coloured engraved pictorial titles and 195 hand-coloured costume plates, some heightened with gold or silver (without vol. IX, a small number lightly browned, pl. 18 in vol. VI with minor insignificant spotting, a couple of plates trimmed close into plate mark with the fina plate just into image). Contemporary half calf, gilt spines (covers faintly soiled, extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: Gloucester (bookplates).
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