Costume, Embroideries, Textiles, and Fans

One of the key attractions in this sale is a rare needlework book cover from The Book of Beauty, 1896. This pre-Raphaelite needlework book cover was designed for The Book of Beauty: A Collection of Beautiful Portraits with Literary, Artistic and Musical Contributions by Men and Women of the Day, edited by Mrs F Harcourt Williamson and published by Hutchinson & Co.

Only 300 copies of the book, which includes contributions by Rudyard Kipling, Lord Curzon and Sir John Millais, were produced, and this is the only known embroidered cover. The National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum has a copy of the book, but without a cover like this.
The book cover once belonged to the vendor’s uncle, an interior designer. It was inherited by the vendor’s father, who subsequently passed it onto the vendor. It has spent this whole time at the bottom of a bin bag which explains its exceptional condition.

Other costume and textile items of interest include:
An 1820s printed cotton day dress printed with stylised flowers and swags in beige, green and pink.
An unusual Edwardian dress made from a printed shawl of silk gauze, with a colourful print of paisley pine cone designs on a black ground, with black silk and lace trim.
Two top hats and a bowler hat in a leather case including a fine black silk top hat by Woodrow and a matching leather case with burgundy leather interior and travel stickers.
A pair of late 18th century shoes of pink silk with a small Louis heels and leather soles.
A group of 19th and early 20th century clothing including a child’s black silk mourning dress.
A group of late Victorian and Edwardian outfits including an 1880s silk satin wedding dress; a 1900s aqua silk satin, chiffon and lace dress; a 1910s plum coloured wool felt day suit with braid and corded decoration and a 1910s wedding dress of cream silk satin and chiffon with beaded decoration and Point de Gaze lace, in a large trunk with travel stickers.
A group of 19th/early 20th century bags and coin purses including two Victorian miser’s purses, a sock-shaped purse, several small beaded purses, and several bags with metal clasps, including one depicting Dutch windmills.
A Chinese framed 19th century fan with lacquered sticks and guards and a brightly painted leaf, depicting figures with raised ivory faces, within a gilt gesso frame.
A group of fine early 20th century whitework underwear including two blouses with embroidered and Irish crochet detail, two nightgowns with lace detail, a girl’s dress, five petticoats and seven pairs of drawers.

Auction catalog with detailed images is available online and provides a wonderful opportunity to view 19th and 20th century fashions and accessories. The catalog can be found here.
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to
[Photos courtesy of Bonhams, all rights reserved]

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