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Coat and breeches

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1780s (made)
    1870-1910 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-embroidered and hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by R. Brooman White, Esq.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A man’s court coat and breeches of olive green taffeta. The coat has standing collar and curving 2-piece sleeves end in cuffs, 3½ inches (9 cm) deep. The fronts curve from neck to hem with pleats 3¼ inches (8.3 cm) deep, below the hip set beside the centre back. Each front has a pocket with scalloped pocket flap; the centre-back seam is open below the hip. The coat is embroidered with silk floss in shades of blue, pink, green and white, in a pattern of lace scallops, flowers and feathers on the collar, cuffs and pocket flaps, along the front edges, pleats and centre-back opening and around the pockets. There are 10 embroidered buttons along the right front edge, 3 below each pocket, 3 on each cuff and 1 at the top and hem of the pleats.

The breeches comprise 2 fronts, two backs and 2 waistbands, made of olive green silk taffeta. The back legs are cut higher than the fronts and gathered into the back of the waistbands. There is a watch pocket in the front of each waistband. The fronts close with buttoned waistbands and a fall front; the back waistbands with a buckle and strap. The legs and pockets are lined with bleached linen. There are 3 self-covered buttons on the front waistband and 1 for each corner of the fall fronts. On the outer seam of each leg, there are four embroidered buttons, with an embroidered knee-band below.

The coat was probably worn for fancy dress in the late 19th century. The coat has been relined with white silk twill, the collar deepened, the side pleats stitched down, the back sleeve and side back seams let out and machine-made lace ruffles stitched inside the cuffs. The back yoke of the breeches has been replaced and the waistbands relined. The original waistcoat with matching embroidery has not survived; the coat and breeches were worn with waistcoat T.147:B-1924 for fancy dress.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1780s (made)
1870-1910 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-embroidered and hand-sewn

Descriptive line

Man's coat and breeches for court, 1780-1790, French; Olive green silk coat and breeches, floral embroidery, altered 1870-1910


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread


Hand weaving; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing


Europeana Fashion Project; Men's clothes; Court; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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