8vo (161x 95 mm). Engraved title, 23 (of 24) engraved plates of extravagant hairdos, all with caption “Coeffures d’Augsbourg” and signed “Joh. Martin Will exc. A.V.” [Augustae Vindelicorum], all except plate 15 with details highlighted in contemporary hand-coloring and grey lead. Lacking plate 14, pl. 13 cropped at fore-margin, slight foxing and creasing to title; the sub-title “II. Theil” effaced and covered by owner’s inkstamp. Contemporary grey embossed floral paper wrappers (rubbed, torn along backstrip, other small tears). Provenance: "G H," circular ownership stamp on title-page.***
A model-book for hairdressers, engraved and published by the Augsburg engraver Johann Martin Will (1727-1806), showing elaborately braided hairdos and monumental hair-towers, with ringlets and tresses carefully disposed around teased mountainous appendages and interwoven with ribbons, feathers, and a variety of fanciful millenary creations. Augsburg was clearly no backwater; while somewhat less extreme than their French counterparts, these hairstyles were inspired by the latest French vogue for the notorious pouf hair-constructions, allegedly invented in 1774 by the dressmaker Rose Bertin (whose most influential client was Marie Antoinette), in collaboration with a hairdresser named Monsieur Léonard. “The pouf was built on scaffolding made from wire, cloth, gauze, horsehair, fake hair, and the wearer’s own tresses, teased high off the forehead. After dousing the whole edifice heavily with powder, its architect installed amid the twists and curls an elaborate miniature still-life...” (Weber, p. 104).
The cropping of plate 13 at the fore-margin is due to its having been incorrectly trimmed and bound in askew; a line parallel to the gutter shows that the engraved plates were cut out from one or two large sheets.
This was part II of a series. I locate only one other copy of this part (Augsburg) and one copy of part IV (the Lipperheide copy at the Kunstbibliothek of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), which has the same title and 23 plates. The Augsburg copy is digitized: it is in wrappers of the same or very similar dark embossed paper. It includes plate 14, absent from this copy, which shows the front view of the coiffure shown from the back in plate 15.
VD18 80238963-001; Lipperheide 1680 (different volume); on Will see Thieme Becker 36:7. Cf. E. Langlade, La Marchande de Modes de Marie-Antoinette: Rose Bertin (1911, digitized on archive.org); C. Weber, Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution (2006). Item #3199