Friday, June 10, 2011


Engravings of Swiss clothing styles from the 1630s

engraving 1634 - Basel costumes
How to admire one another in a good year

17th century Swiss fashion
Guildmaster and servants

Basler Kleidung j
Maidservants: fast mouth-work, slow housework

Basler Kleidung
Schoolmaster, teacher-assistant and student

Basler Kleidung e
Noblewomen and their maidservants going to church

Basler Kleidung a
The marriage court made up of a board member,
a clergyman and a member of the local council

Basler Kleidung b
Local aristocrats

Basler Kleidung k
A good woman beats the wine out of her drunken husband's head

Basler Kleidung d
Bridegroom and nobleman

Basler Kleidung c
Young fellows

Basler Kleidung f
A woman mourning her husband

Basler Kleidung g
Wine merchant (street crier)

Basler Kleidung h
A sexton and a heat controller (or fire stoker) announce a public auction

Basler Kleidung l
Peasants heading for the market

[All the images were spliced together from screen shots; the first image was slightly background cleaned; click through on any for an enlarged version]

Hans Heinrich Glaser (1585-1673) was an engraver from Basel in Switzerland who is best known for two volumes of fashion illustrations he produced about a decade apart. The first, from the 1620s, was copied from other illustrators.

Glaser's second book - 'Basler Kleidung', the subject of this post - was published in 1634 and remains a well regarded historical source for Basel's 17th century clothing and culture. The illustrator also exhibits a wry sense of humour at times, obviously.

'Basler Kleidung' (~Basel Fashion) is available online at the e-rara site of Universitätsbibliothek Basel (note the thumbnails link at the top of the page).

There are a couple of biographical sources around, both of which become impenetrably mangled by the online translation: One; Two.

I am grateful to typographer/designer Nina Stössinger for help with the caption translations. And, by some extraordinary coincidence, Nina is working on a project this year that includes images from this book. The odds for this must be just astronomical.

Previously: costumes.

Tangentially related: Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands at The Morgan Library [VIA].

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