Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ―

Goldsmiths’ work and jewelry by Gilles L’Egaré. France 18th century.

châtelaines, Rococo, Gilles L'Egaré, jewelry,  Auguste Racinet,
18th century. Goldsmiths’ work and jewelry.


SOME of the clasps, called châtelaines, with which this plate is filled, belong to the style which was in fashion from 1719 to 1745; a style encouraged by the Oppenords (Gilles-Marie Oppenord 1672–1742) and Meissonier, and carried to such a length by Babel, the celebrated goldsmith; the others belong to a later time.

Jewellery and the sister arts, especially chasing, were then progressing at a rate which has never since been surpassed. The French school, while adopting the liberty of form which prevailed in the new Italian style, succeeded in giving it a peculiar character of lightness and grace.

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11. – Chains by the French Court jeweler Gilles L’Egaré. These belong to the style of decoration practiced by the Berains and Marots at the close of the seventeenth century and the commencement of the eighteenth.

No. 9. Seal by Gilles L’Egaré. (Same style.)

Nos. 12 to 19. An almost complete set of ladies’ ornaments of the time of Louis XVI.: principal clasp with watch and seals, clasps, pins, and egrets of different dimensions for the dress and hair. Each of the other large clasps represents a complete set, composed of several pieces, either for gentlemen or ladies.

Source: Polychromatic ornament by Auguste Racinet. London, H. Sotheran and Co., 1877.


Note:  Necklace of Human Fingers. Cheyenne Medicine Man.

Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.

Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion. From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.

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The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty: 40 Projects for Period-Accurate Hairstyles, Makeup and Accessories by Lauren Stowell & Abby Cox.

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail by Avril Hart & Susan North. From cut and construction to fabric and trimmings.


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.