The Complete Costume History


Le Costume Historique / Vollständige Kostümgeschichte

Albert-Charles-Auguste Racinet, ed. Françoise Tétart-Vittu

Taschen’s 2003 single volume English reprint of the monumental 1888 work   


Albert-Charles-Auguste Racinet, ed. Françoise Tétart-Vittu, The Complete Costume History: From Ancient Times to the 19th Century, all Plates in Colour, reprinted as a single volume from a copy (owned by Michael Whiteway, London) of the first edition, Paris, 1888 (Taschen: Köln, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, and Tokyo, 2003), 636 pages in large format folio, 45 x 30 x 7.5 cm. Colour cover illustration on cloth-covered boards: Reign of Louis XVI (detail); Colour endpapers: China, 19th century (detail); wide pink marker ribbon, printed in Italy. Colour Plates follow Racinet’s numbering from 1-500; many b/w illustrations; and texts offering commentaries and anecdotes illuminating the character and customs of communities, are abridged from the author’s original 1,300 text pages.

Contents: Auguste Racinet’s “Le Costume Historique”: A Monumental 19th Century Achievement; Part I: The Ancient World (Plates 1-59); Part II: The 19th Century—Beyond the Borders of Europe (Plates 60-183); Part III: Europe 400-1800 (plates 184-410); Part IV: Traditional Costume Till the Late 19th Century (Plates 411-500); Part V: Patterns and Templates; Bibliography. Weight 5.7 kg.

Condition: As New.

Albert-Charles-Auguste Racinet (1825-1893), painter, illustrator, lithographer and author, was born in Paris and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. He exhibited his paintings in the annual Paris Salons from 1849-1874, and from 1869-1888 was engraver and artistic director at the Paris publisher Firmin-Didot et Cie, which published Racinet’s two major works, LÓrnement polychrome (1869) and Le Costume Historique (1888). Auguste Racinet’s Complete Costume History, originally appearing in French in six volumes between 1876 and 1888, was recognised as “the most wide-ranging and intelligent study of clothing ever published”. His works were translated into German and English and their scope, detail and wit gained Racinet a global audience.  Auguste Racinet was appointed a member of the Legion of Honour in 1878.