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One of the costume plates from Volume VI of the nine-volume series of the English magazine Gallery of Fashion, published monthly by Nicolaus Heideloff between 1794 and 1803. Each  issue contained two fashion plates, beautifully hand coloured and often finished with gold and silver tints. 


The Gallery of Fashion was more of a record of existing fashions worn at the time in elite circles in Britain , than imagined designs for the future.  It was the first periodical in Britain to focus on the changing taste in dress and drives home the difference between the distinction between French and English taste.


In the introduction Heideloff proclaims: "A Gallery of Fashion is a work long wanted, and long wished for, and now makes its appearance upon a very extensive plan. It is a collection of the most fashionable and elegant Dresses in vogue. This work, so necessary to point out the superior elegance of the English taste, is the first and only ever published in this country; it surpasses any thing of the kind formerly published at Paris, and shews at once the different fashions invented at different periods... 


The Publisher will make it his particular study to select those magnificent dresses, in which the Ladies appear at the routs, the opera, the play-houses, and the concert-rooms; as well as those elegant morning dresses for Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.


This Gallery will not only be interesting to Ladies of the highest fashion, but must be deemed absolutely necessary to every person concerned in the fashions of the day. It is likewise submitted to the admirers of the fine arts, as an agreeable series of objects, for the imitation of those Ladies who wish to mix entertainment with improvement." (Advertisement, at front of vol.I)


The list of subscribers was impressive and included: including daughters of George III, along with members of the aristocracy. Some of these women allowed  Heideloff to draw them int their dresses which were then etched and hand-coloured in the magazine thus representing them as leaders and inovators in the world of fashionable Britian. Heideloff claims: 'they will find the Publisher always ready to represent their dresses in that style of elegance, and that original taste, which is so peculiar to the British Ladies."


According to Heideloff contemporary English fashions emulate the simplicity of Ancient Greek dress...." it was reserved for the Graces of Great Britain to take the lead in Fashion, and to show that, if they do not surpass, they certainly equal the elegance of the most celebrated Grecian dresses. In short, beauty, shape and taste are nowhere more general, nor anywhere better united, than in England …"


Artist, etcher and publisher: Nicolaus Heideloff (1761-1837).

Nicolaus Innocentius Wilhelm Clemens von Heideloff was born in Stuttgart, where he trained as an engraver and was court engraver to the Duke of Württemberg.  In the 1780s he moved to Paris where he made a living painting miniatures. During the first years of the French Revolution he fled to London where he spent the next 30 years. He started by working for the publisher Rudolph Ackermann but in 1794 started his own publication. In 1815, he was appointed to the directorship of the national paintings gallery in The Hague, now the Mauritshuis. 




Evening Dress from Volume VI Gallery of Fashion Nov 1799 - Framed Antique Print

SKU: 1252
  • Image Number: 1252
    Title: Gallery of Fashion Plate
    Publisher: Nicolaus Heideloff
    Medium: Aquatint and etching with hand-colouring

    Framed size (h x w): 

  • If you would like to come and see a print or have any questions please get in touch by emailing

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