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Riding coat

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1759 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wool, silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:

    T.197-1984

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Women’s riding outfits, known as ‘riding habits’, of the 18th century adapted elements of men’s dress. This riding coat of the 1750s is styled after a man’s coat, although it has been modified with a dart or 'fish' and a waist seam to fit over stays and a wide petticoat. Another masculine element is the mariner’s cuff, with a scalloped flap running parallel to the length of the sleeve. It was a style first seen on the coats of naval officers, although their uniform was not officially defined until 1748. The mariner’s cuff became a fashionable feature of civilian coats in the 1750s and soon began to appear on women’s riding habits.

Physical description

Woman’s coat for a riding habit of medium-brown worsted. It has a round neckline, long, curving, 2-piece sleeves with vertical ‘mariner’s’ cuffs. There are wide skirts below the waist seam with a horizontal pocket and shaped pocket flap on each front. The fronts have a deep point below the waist at centre front. The backs are cut in 1 piece with its skirts. The sleeves and bodice of the coat are lined with yellow linen; the skirts and cuffs with yellow silk sarsenet. There is a ‘fish’ [dart] in each front edge at the level of the 3rd buttonhole to shape over the edge of the stays that would be worn underneath. The coat fastens at centre front 9 worked buttonholes on the left front and 6 brown silk-covered buttons (3 missing) on the right front. There are 3 buttonholes on each pocket flap and 3 3 buttons below; each cuff fastens with 3 worked buttonholes and 3 buttons.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1750-1759 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Wool, silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-sewn

Dimensions

Length: 70.0 cm overall approx, Circumference: 85.5 cm bust under armholes approx

Descriptive line

Women’s coat for a riding habit of medium brown worsted, 1750s, British; lined with yellow sarsenet

Materials

Worsted; Linen (material); Silk (textile)

Techniques

Hand weaving; Hand sewing

Categories

Fashion; Women's clothes; Sport; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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