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Waistcoat

Waistcoat

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)
    London (retailed)

  • Date:

    1858 (retailed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Walter Ray (retailer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jacquard woven silk

  • Museum number:

    T.313:1-2009

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Articles of men's clothing surviving from the nineteenth century are surprisingly rare, although richly patterned waistcoats such as this are found in many museum collections, because they were worn for weddings and special occasions and so were treasured by families for sentimental reasons and for their decorative appeal. The fact that this waistcoat survives with its original receipt or bill (T.313:2-2009) makes it very unusual, however, and this receipt reveals some fascinating details about the waistcoat's history.

Genealogical research has shown that the waistcoat's original wearer, George Knight, may have been a farmer in Kent, and married an Elizabeth Gurr in that county in 1858. We can picture his complete outfit from the evidence of the bill - he wore it with a 'Super' (fine, densely woven wool) blue frock coat, and a pair of lavender tweed trousers. The fact that George Knight bought his wedding clothes from a 'Merchant Clothier' rather than a tailor indicates the changing nature of the London retail industry in the nineteenth century, towards department stores and away from craftspeople working in their own retail premises.

Physical description

Man's single breasted waistcoat, with a shawl collar, the fronts of cream jacquard woven silk with a design of a lattice of scrolling foliage, fastening with six small covered buttons. The waistcoat back is a cotton cambric, which is also used to line the fronts, and has straps and a small buckle to adjust fit at the centre back.

Place of Origin

London (made)
London (retailed)

Date

1858 (retailed)

Artist/maker

Jones, Walter Ray (retailer)

Materials and Techniques

Jacquard woven silk

Dimensions

Length: 485 mm centre back seam

Object history note

Genealogical research has shown that the waistcoat's original wearer, George Knight, may have been a farmer in Kent, and married an Elizabeth Gurr in that county in 1858. We can picture his complete outfit from the evidence of the bill - he wore it with a 'Super' (fine, densely woven wool) blue frock coat, and a pair of lavender tweed trousers. The fact that George Knight bought his wedding clothes from a 'Merchant Clothier' rather than a tailor indicates the changing nature of the London retail industry in the nineteenth century, towards department stores and away from craftspeople working in their own retail premises.

Descriptive line

Man's single breasted waistcoat, cream jacquard woven silk, retailed by Walter Ray Jones, London, 1858

Production Note

See T.313:2-2009, bill

Materials

Silk; Cotton

Techniques

Jacquard weaving

Categories

Textiles; Clothing; Men's clothes

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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