Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:


  • Date:

    mid 18th century

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Stage coat worn in private court theatre performances at the Meleto Castle, Tuscany, ca. 1750. Pink brown brocade frock coat with hanging cape oversleeves, edge to edge to waist where it is cut away and front panels are turned back. Front 'panels' applique of black silk embroidered with elaborate silver strip embroidery arabesques and silver braid. At the cut away section, the applique panel at left extend into larger area of applique cloth of silver appliqued with black silk edged with narrow silver thread braid. Three-quarter undersleeve of pink silk and silver tinsel (much gone) edged with silver braid.

Place of Origin



mid 18th century

Object history note

This costume comes from Meleto Castle in Tuscany, where there is a private theatre, which was opened in 1741. It is a very early example of a costume made specially for the stage and, although probably used in productions of plays, it was also undoubtedly used for masques and other entertainments which included dancing.

Sarah Woodcock & Philip Dyer, 1981.

Descriptive line

Stage coat of pink brown brocade worn in private court theatre performances at the Meleto Castle, Tuscany, ca. 1750.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inaugural Conference for the Ricasoli Collection
Patrons, Politics, Music and Art in Italy, 1738-1859.
University of Louisville, March 14-18, 1989


Brocade; Silk (textile); Silver strip; Silver braid; Tinsel


Embroidering; Applied work


Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

We need your help

Hello. We are working to improve our collections online and would like to understand better how our visitors use our site. Please could you spare two minutes to answer some questions?
Take the survey
No thanks. Continue to the V&A website