The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration
August 4, 2008 10:05 AM   Subscribe

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire, France and Great Britain, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium and Persia and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg, Monaco and Montenegro. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry, Spanish military musicians and 1830's Belgian ambulance.
posted by Kattullus (11 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
If any of the many intrepid Dutch MeFites have some additional info to give to the New York Public Library about Dr. Vinkhuijzen they'd love to know.
posted by Kattullus at 10:06 AM on August 4, 2008

Great post! The images are awesome, albeit poorly classified, at least for the older uniform styles (image captions like "Russia, 960-1694" aren't very specific). Some of these are hilariously impractical, e.g. Roman soldiers, naked except for giant helmets and shinguards. It's hard to imagine conquering the known Western world with your dork hangin' out.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:28 AM on August 4, 2008

Oops, on closer inspection, they're Etruscans. I guess that's why the Romans supplanted them: they pioneered the technique of covering your dong in battle.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:33 AM on August 4, 2008

Wow, terrific stuff. I thought at first it wasn't organized at all ("What, I have to look through all 3,000+ Russian items?"), but then I followed your "many different" link and found Russia broken down by era (sometimes by year); I'm reading War and Peace, and for 1802-05 (the first part is set in 1805) they have three pages. Another great find!
posted by languagehat at 10:34 AM on August 4, 2008

How do you do it, Kattullus? Bravo!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:35 AM on August 4, 2008

But a quibble: the Byzantium was the Roman Empire, and everybody called it "Rome" (which is why Rumi is called that— he lived in Asia Minor, or Rum). Let's have none of your Western imperialism!
posted by languagehat at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2008

"The Byzantium"? Shoot me now. I don't know how that happened.
posted by languagehat at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2008

That's just how Southern Californians refer to Byzantium. A bit of dialect, no worries.
posted by Kattullus at 10:50 AM on August 4, 2008

on closer inspection, they're Etruscans

nor entirely naked, more like a short-length skin-colored sleeveless tunic. But since no one knows what the Etruscans wore, it's the romanticized imagination of 19th century painter.
posted by stbalbach at 11:18 AM on August 4, 2008

I read Spanish military musicians as The Spanish musicians military. Got my hopes WAY up.

This is really neat. a great resource.
posted by French Fry at 1:38 PM on August 4, 2008

Fricken' awesome! Kniiights, knights, they are so cool.
posted by Mister Cheese at 4:40 PM on August 4, 2008

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