Habitus variarum orbis gentium / Omnium pene Europae, Asiae, Aphricae atque Americae Gentium Habitus

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Album containing two sets of costume prints, with title pages and dedications, bound with old full calf gold-tooled binding. The first set of the book, 'Habitus variarum orbis gentium' (The costumes of the various peoples of the world), consists of a title page, likeness of the author, dedication, and 67 costume plates that illustrate 182 national styles of dress, presenting one of the very earliest fashion books. The sumptuous publication, long in preparation, was published by Jean Jacques Boissard in 1581, persuaded by Nicole and Louise de Vienne, to whom the book is dedicated. The plates were engraved by Julius Goltzius, whose signature appears on the seventh plate. The series of plates includes the costumes of nobles, citizens, courtesans, widows, and country people of Venice and other major towns of Italy, Bavaria, Switzerland, and France, and several regions of the Ottoman Empire.

The second set of plates, 'Omnium pene Europae, Asiae, Aphricae atque Americae Gentium Habitus' (Every costume of the peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa and America), consists of title page, note to the reader, dedication, and 75 costume plates, divided in two parts: the first, with 58 plates of costumes of people from different nations of western and central Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and the Americas, and the second, made up of 17 plates with the habits of different religious orders. The first part of the set was published in 1580 and the second part in 1581, with designs created by Abraham de Bruyn.

The album is of large size, and the original costume plates are trimmed at the edges and attached onto larger sheets of paper, which are bound to form the album. These larger sheets have been printed with blue stripes that frame the illustrated plates. Although the title pages for both albums are placed before the corresponding costume plates, the dedications seem to be in the wrong order, all attached to the last pages of the album.

Habitus variarum orbis gentium / Omnium pene Europae, Asiae, Aphricae atque Americae Gentium Habitus, Abraham de Bruyn (Flemish, Antwerp 1540–1587 Cologne (?)), Engravings; Old full calf gold-tooled binding

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