Tui or Parson Bird Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae. From: 'A history of the birds of New Zealand' by Walter Lawry Buller | OUR Heritage

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Le Costume Historique: Types Principaux du Vétement et de la Parure





Special Collections GT510 R274 188



Paris: Librairie de Firmin-Didot et Cie


Originally published in magazine form over several years, this vast work was later organised into six volumes totalling nearly 2000 pages and 500 plates. It has become a classic in the history of dress. In this ambitious and imperfect work, Racinet draws on multiple sources including previous dress histories. He set a new standard in both scope and illustration, taking full advantage of then new reprographic techniques to produce colour plates of enduring appeal. Republished regularly, this work remains a touchstone and is true to its time. Racinet suggested that the tartan, shown in this plate, developed as a form of camouflage for hunting and was only later used to denote clan and social ranking.
(Chosen by Dr Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School, Otago)


[Auguste Racinet], “Le Costume Historique: Types Principaux du Vétement et de la Parure,” | OUR Heritage, accessed August 14, 2022,

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