An insight into the opulence of the French court and style of the late eighteenth century can be found in this hairdressing manual—one of the earliest guides dedicated solely to this craft.
Legros (active in the eighteenth century), stylist to Queen Marie Thérèse Leczinska, wife of King Louis XV of France, describes the tools and techniques required to create more than twenty-five of the most fashionable hair styles of that era. Each hairdo, a number donning intricate configurations of curls interwoven with ribbons and feathers, is beautifully illustrated in hand-colored engravings found throughout the 123 page book.
Several hairstyling implements, including measuring tools and a curling iron (pictured below), are both illustrated and explained in great detail in the introductory chapters making it the most practical guide for haircutting procedures of its day.
The book was later translated into English and became a resource that spread French design and culture to England and America.—Elizabeth Broman