Free Victorian Art Designs: Fashion Plates from 1850-1899

The nostalgia and Victorian designs craze was just coming in when I was a child. Before that, old stuff was just considered old. But in the early 1970s someone decided that what was old was new and exciting again, so the nostalgia craze was born. And it hasn't really stopped. Even though all the Victorian fashion plates on this page hail from the Victorian era (June 1837 to January 1901, when Queen Victoria ruled England), I amassed this collection only within the last year.

(To see and download the Victorian fashion designs, please scroll down. Make sure to read the instructions in the blue box first to get the best versions of the images.)

I was 11 years old in 1970 and nowhere were nostalgia and Victoriana more present than in our house in the then-bedroom community of Van Nuys, California. Those familiar with that area these days might be more inclined to equate it with a smaller room in the home that features an appliance that flushes. But in those days Van Nuys (and the small incorporated area within it called Panorama City that I lived in) was quite nice and was labeled either middle-class or upper-middle-class, depending on who was doing the labeling.

Instructions for Downloading the Victorian Designs Below

Please read the Terms of Use further down on the page before downloading.

Choose a small version of any of the Victorian designs above the large images below. When you click on one of the images, it will appear larger. Once you've chosen an image and see it larger, double-click on the larger image, which will make the best version of the art appear. Then, if you have a PC, just right-click and save the final version of the artwork to your hard drive. Right-click if you have a Mac.

Victorian Designs: Fashion Plates from 1850-1859

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1850: Tiered Victorian dresses in lavender and green1850: Victorian riding outfits1852: Coat with fur trim and muff, and silk plaid dress1854: Victorian dress with blue flower borders1856: Victorian blue tiered dress1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions
1850: Tiered Victorian dresses in lavender and green
1850: Tiered Victorian dresses in lavender and green
1850: Victorian riding outfits
1850: Victorian riding outfits
1852: Coat with fur trim and muff, and silk plaid dress
1852: Coat with fur trim and muff, and silk plaid dress
1854: Victorian dress with blue flower borders
1854: Victorian dress with blue flower borders
1856: Victorian blue tiered dress
1856: Victorian blue tiered dress
1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions
1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions
1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions
1858: Mens, womens and little girl Victorian fashions

Victorian Designs: Fashion Plates from 1860-1869

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July 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions June 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions 1867: assorted Victorian womens dresses from Godeys1869: Lindsay Victorian dress with green bow1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with black pleated trim1869: Lindsay Victorian red  dress with black trim1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with red trim and stripesSeptember 1869: Assorted Victorian womens and girls fashions from The Young Ladies' Journal1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with attendants in blue and red1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with bustle and attendant in greenMay 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic MagazineNovember 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions 1869: Victorian womens and girls fashions
July 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
July 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
June 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
June 1864: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
1867: assorted Victorian womens dresses from Godeys
1867: assorted Victorian womens dresses from Godeys
1869: Lindsay Victorian dress with green bow
1869: Lindsay Victorian dress with green bow
1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with black pleated trim
1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with black pleated trim
1869: Lindsay Victorian red  dress with black trim
1869: Lindsay Victorian red dress with black trim
1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with red trim and stripes
1869: Lindsay Victorian white dress with red trim and stripes
September 1869: Assorted Victorian womens and girls fashions from The Young Ladies' Journal
September 1869: Assorted Victorian womens and girls fashions from The Young Ladies' Journal
1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with attendants in blue and red
1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with attendants in blue and red
1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with bustle and attendant in green
1869: Victorian bridal dress in white with bustle and attendant in green
May 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
May 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
November 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
November 1869: Assorted Victorian bonnets and hats from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions from Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine
1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
1869: Victorian womens and girls dress fashions
1869: Victorian womens and girls fashions
1869: Victorian womens and girls fashions

Victorian Designs: Fashion Plates from 1870-1879

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1872: Victorian womens fashions in black and brown1873: assorted Victorian womens fashions1873: assorted Victorian womens fashionsFebruary 1874: Godey's Fashions for Victorian womenJune 1877: assorted Victorian womens summer fashionsMarch 1877: Victorian fashion plates for springMay 1877: Victorian fashion plates for late spring1878: Victorian bridal gown1878: Victorian silk ball gowns for summer1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter1878: Victorian womens fashions 1878: Victorian womens fashions 1878: Victorian man and woman fishing in lake
1872: Victorian womens fashions in black and brown
1872: Victorian womens fashions in black and brown
1873: assorted Victorian womens fashions
1873: assorted Victorian womens fashions
1873: assorted Victorian womens fashions
1873: assorted Victorian womens fashions
February 1874: Godey's Fashions for Victorian women
February 1874: Godey's Fashions for Victorian women
June 1877: assorted Victorian womens summer fashions
June 1877: assorted Victorian womens summer fashions
March 1877: Victorian fashion plates for spring
March 1877: Victorian fashion plates for spring
May 1877: Victorian fashion plates for late spring
May 1877: Victorian fashion plates for late spring
1878: Victorian bridal gown
1878: Victorian bridal gown
1878: Victorian silk ball gowns for summer
1878: Victorian silk ball gowns for summer
1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall
1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall
1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall
1878: Victorian womens fashions for fall
1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter
1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter
1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter
1878: Victorian womens fashions for winter
1878: Victorian womens fashions
1878: Victorian womens fashions
1878: Victorian womens fashions
1878: Victorian womens fashions
1878: Victorian man and woman fishing in lake
1878: Victorian man and woman fishing in lake

Victorian Designs: Fashion Plates from 1880-1899

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1881: Womens Victorian seaside fashions1892: France Mode Victorian womens fashionsSpring 1897: lavender and yellow Victorian dressesMarch 1898: Victorian "Full Dress Toilettes" from The Delineator
1881: Womens Victorian seaside fashions
1881: Womens Victorian seaside fashions
1892: France Mode Victorian womens fashions
1892: France Mode Victorian womens fashions
Spring 1897: lavender and yellow Victorian dresses
Spring 1897: lavender and yellow Victorian dresses
March 1898: Victorian "Full Dress Toilettes" from The Delineator
March 1898: Victorian "Full Dress Toilettes" from The Delineator

My father made stained glass lamps at night in our garage after working all day at his job as a safe and bank vault salesman at the Southern California Safe Company. The safe company's showroom was inconveniently located in the area of Downtown Los Angeles called Skid Row. It was right next door to the Midnight Mission, which dispensed religion, hot food and a place to sleep at night for people too drunk to function. Going to visit my dad in that unusual setting was my first experience with seeing homeless people, which we used to call winos and bums. I absolutely cringe when I think of how callous we were.

I'm sure my father used working on his Victorian lamps to help him shake off the somewhat sad way he spent his days. He also never missed an opportunity to visit any place that had stained glass lamps. Since they were all the rage, it was easy to find them. And as Daddy's Little Girl, I usually went along with him. This was good fortune for me, because some pretty good restaurants had lamps he wanted to see.

The Lure of Pastrami Sandwiches and Pigging Out at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor

My favorite of these was Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. (Farrell's still exists, although not in the same locations. Click here to see archival photos on their Web site.) Not only did the Farrell's near us on Van Nuys Boulevard have stained glass lamps hanging over many of the tables; it was sugar heaven for kids in general and my personal pastrami sandwich restaurant of choice. As I write this, a vivid memory of that warm and just-greasy-enough-to-be-delicious pastrami is flooding through me.

For my friends and I, the dessert that reigned supreme above all the other ice cream sundaes in their large collection was called The Pig's Trough and had what seemed to us like 100 scoops of ice cream. It also came with an "I made a pig of myself at Farrell's" ribbon that was awarded to anyone who actually finished one. If I recall, there was also a loud fuss that accompanied the delivery of the ribbon to the table, which included a siren, various banging noises and singing. As you can imagine, that made the ribbon a much-coveted prize for kids.

I don't think I ever finished a trough by myself, but I did spend many an hour eating pastrami sandwiches and ice cream sundaes, and browsing in the adjacent old fashioned candy shop. The wise owners of Farrell's put the cash register right in the middle of the candy store, so unless parents managed to act as a team and have one of them get the kids out to the car while the other one paid, they were forced to listen "PLEASE!" over and over until they relented and bought their kids some candy. It's a wonder that the kids who grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s had any cavity-free teeth left, when you take into account all the jaw breakers, licorice whips and huge all-day suckers we talked our parents into buying us.

The Victorian Sears Catalog Reproduction

But Farrell's wasn't the only reason I have such a bent toward Victoriana. My father's predisposition toward all things Victorian and stained glass must have rubbed off on me, because I loved all the antiques he collected and had scattered around the house.

As a grown-up, I can appreciate the good taste and keen collector's eye he must have had to amass such a great assortment of vintage goodies: We had an old wooden pit boss chair that came from a Las Vegas casino and an ornate golden throne with red velvet upholstery that came from Corriganville, which was the rustic theme park of old-time movie actor Crash Corrigan. We also had a totally cool golden-colored slot machine that worked until I stuck things in it other than coins; an antique cash register; two Victrolas; a miniature black safe that had to weigh at least one-ton and many other aging treasures.

We also had a new item, which probably reinforced my love of vintage and Victorian art more than anything else: a reproduction of the Sears catalog from the 19th century. I don't have it any more, but I remember it vividly. It was the size of a small phone book, had a black, orange and yellow cover and the inside pages were black and white.

Many of the items were illustrated with detailed Victorian drawings, very much like those found on this page, although they were in black and white. I can't even imagine the hours it must have taken to illustrate all those products and then hand-set the type. But it was probably worth it for Sears, because not everyone had a store nearby like most of us have today. The catalog made a world of diverse goods available to farmers and other country folk, as well as many others.

I poured over this catalog off and on for literally years as I was growing up. Almost through osmosis, the images burned their way into my subconscious. So much so that years later when I started blogging, it was second nature to surround myself with similar images and share them with others. I enjoyed collecting these images and preparing them to share with you. I hope you find them useful!

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You might also like this other resource:

Free Clip Art Sourcebook

A free e-book filled with links to thousands of free vintage and contemporary images, including clip art, certificates, borders, paper dolls, craft templates and much more!

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Terms of Use

Please click to enlarge and read the usage guidelines for these vintage images or visit http://vintageholidaycrafts.com/vintage-holiday-crafts-terms-of-use/
Please click to enlarge and read the usage guidelines for these vintage images or visit http://vintageholidaycrafts.com/vintage-holiday-crafts-terms-of-use/

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Comments 35 comments

flaoutsider profile image

flaoutsider 8 years ago from Florida,usa

This is a refreashing site I will share it with my friends lily


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, Lily!


Megnoa 8 years ago

Thank you what beautiful images to share, thanks for all your work adding these!


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

You're welcome, Megnoa. I had fun putting this hub together.


wanderer 8 years ago

good wrok, useful images


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, wanderer!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 8 years ago from South Africa

Super - thanks a lot. Will find many uses for these images.


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

You're welcome, Tony. Have fun using them. :-)


The Lost Dutchman profile image

The Lost Dutchman 8 years ago from Flanders (Belgium)

Great concept, and wonderful stuff... You've got a new fan!


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, Lost Dutchman!


sukkran profile image

sukkran 8 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

nice hub. very useful one.

sukkran


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 8 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, sukkran!


Vintage Art 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing and visiting me on my blog!

Enjoy reading your posting. Love the Clip Art!


rachel 8 years ago

lovely site! I love victorian images, and was looking for some to do decoupage when I came across your site. Thank you for sharing!


Ella 7 years ago

What a great site, thank-you. I grew up in Burbank, Calif graduated in 1982 I now live in Utah and enjoyed reading about your memories of Farrells and Van Nuys; it brought back fond memories of growing up and going to Farrell's Ice Cream Palor on my birthdays and cruising Van Nuys Blvd. during my high school years. Thanks for the memories.


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Hi, Ella. It's good to meet a former Van Nuys cruiser. I spent more time doing that than I care to admit!


Debbie Peysen 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing all you have with the rest of us. It all is so wonderful. You have a great collection.

debbie


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks for stopping by, Debbie, and for your kind words. I hope you find these images useful!


Tina Pearson 7 years ago

Thanks alot for sharing these beautiful pieces of art with me I hope you don't mind but need to use some of them in my college course for example of jazz era thank you so much for sharing and will post where I got these faboulous art work from.

dreamercatcher63@yahoo.com


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Hi, Tina. I don't mind at all if you use these for your class. I'm glad they'll be going to good use. And thanks for sharing where you got them. I appreciate that. :-)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

thanks for sharing the beautiful pix - i used to go to a victorian themed bar, all the d├ęcor was victorian, such a wonderful place, love the victorian's use of reds, it's so warm and rich


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

A Victorian-themed bar sounds like heaven! I'll bet it was beautiful.


Celly profile image

Celly 7 years ago from Brazil

Thanks so much for sharing these amazing images ! I 'm a victorian fan and your site is great ! Hugs from Brazil ! Celly


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

How nice to get a message from Brazil! I'm glad you like the images.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

what a wonderful set of plates you have!


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks, LondonGirl. :-)


Sara 7 years ago

Fantastic images - but some of the Fashion Plates are incorrectly dated. Just so you know! :)


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Hi, Sara. Thanks for your comment. I would love it if you would tell me which ones are wrong. I was going by the dates on the files in the CD I bought.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

wonderful hub not a thing wrong!! beautiful dresses were they not? still....I think I will stick with my jeans :)


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all Author

Thanks for your comment, RNMSN.

As lovely as the dresses are, I definitely agree with you about the jeans. :-)


shabnam yasmin 6 years ago

love victorian gowns .. they are classy!!


Diana 6 years ago

What a great site!! I had to laugh, I had not thought about Farrell's in years!!! What a hoot!


kendell 5 years ago

Thanks ever so much, these are awesome. Kindest regards


Im The Nana profile image

Im The Nana 5 years ago from North Carolina

I enjoyed your hub so much I became a follower. I love any type of vintage pictures, clip art, etc., especially of vintage mermaids as I use them in my art.


nadia 4 years ago

cool

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