Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume and Decoration (1954)

By: Mary G. Houston

Clothing was hardly a practical necessity in North Africa and what is today the Middle East. Often a luxury item in these warm, humid climates, it became more essential as people’s lives improved socially and economically. But even then, the drapery was light and tended to accent the body’s shape rather than conceal it. The first part of this profusely illustrated and scrupulously researched text examines the evolution in apparel worn by Egyptian royalty, priests, musicians, manual workers, the military, and foreigners (as depicted by Egyptian artists). Two additional sections consider clothing worn in ancient Mesopotamia and Persia, focusing largely on Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian styles. Over 250 illustrations, drawn in the artistic style of the period, are accompanied by flat patterns showing the cut of the garment, thus enabling today’s costumers to accurately reconstruct this apparel. A comprehensive archive that will not only be of immense value to fashion historians and students of costume design, this volume will also fascinate anyone interested in the development of artistic representation.

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London : A. & C. Black, 1954, 2nd ed.
Format: 190 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN : 9780713604733  0713604735
OCLC : 03191290  ocm03191290

Table of contents

Table of contents

Section I: Ancient Egyptian Costume

1. Costumes of the Old Kingdom
2. The Middle Kingdom
3. Costumes in the New Empire
4. Military Costume, Chiefly that of the New Empire
5. Priests, Musicians, and Manual Workers
6. Foreigners as Depicted by Egyptian Artists
7. The construction of Shaping of Ancient Egyptian Costume
8. Egyptian Ornament

Section II: Ancient Mesopotamian Costume

9. Sumerian Style in Costume
10. Babylonian Style in Costume
11. Assyrian Style in Costume

Section III: Ancient Persian Costume
12. Achaemenid, Seleucid, Arsacid, and Sassanid Persian Costume


List of Plates

About the author

About the author

Mary Galway Houston (27 July 1871 – 24 April 1962) was an Irish craftswoman, teacher, and author. She was known for her leather work and repoussé metalwork. She was known for her writings on the history of costume and costume design.

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