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Women's Fashions of the 17th Century

Drawings by Wenceslaus Hollar, circa 1645

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In the mid-17th century, Wenceslaus Hollar published this series of engravings depicting the costume of women in England, recording a contemporary view of the costume of women. Wenceslaus Hollar who published over two thousand drawings, was a 17th century engraver who was born in Prague, and spent most of his career in England.

Because these drawings were done from life subjects, they are valuable for researching the clothing women wore in the 17th century. There are few such resources available for any other time before the 1800s when women's magazines and pattern books began to feature fashion drawings and illustrations of contemporary costume.

The illustrations were adapted from English Costume: Tudor and Stuart by Dion Clayton Calthrop, London, 1906. Calthrop's only comment on these illustrations was this:

"These excellent drawings by Hollar need no explanation. They are included in this book because of their great value as accurate contemporary drawings of costume."
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Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 13Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 14Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 15Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 16
Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 17Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 18Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 19Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 20
Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 21Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 22Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 23Drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar, women's 17th century fashion historyDrawing 24
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