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Coat

1785-1790 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

A striking combination of green and blue enlivens this plain frock coat of the late 1780s. The most fashionable coat styles for men featured fronts curving sharply back, a high turned-down collar and long tight sleeves. By the 1780s the side pleats had moved towards the centre back seam, and were much less voluminous than in previous decades.

The buttons were worked in embroidery silks matching the colours of the coat, probably over a wooden base. The design is quartered; each quartering is created by a type of needle-weaving where the silk threads are laid side-by-side, then passed over and under each other.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, linen, wood; hand-woven, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Man's coat of blue plain weave silk ground with green silk satin stripes, Great Britain, 1785-1790, matching buttons
Physical Description
A man’s coat of blue plain weave silk with green satin stripes imitating a ribbon with picot edges. It has a 3-inch (7.7 cm) turn-down collar and curving 2-piece sleeves ending in mariner’s cuffs, 3¼ inches (8.3 cm) deep. The fronts curve from neck to hem with pleats 3 inches (7.7 cm) deep, below the hip set beside the centre back. Each front has a pocket with rectangular pocket flap; the centre-back seam is open below the hip. The back, fronts, sleeves and pockets are lined with linen, the skirts and pocket flaps with the same fabric as the coat. There are 9 buttons of blue and green silk thread in a death’s head pattern along the right front2 on each cuff and 1 at the top and hem of the pleats. There are 3 worked buttonholes on the left front, corresponding with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th buttons, and 2 on each cuff.
Dimensions
  • Top of right collar to hem length: 105.0cm (approx)
  • Chest under armholes circumference: 101.8cm (approx)
Style
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Mrs N. J. Batten
Subject depicted
Summary
A striking combination of green and blue enlivens this plain frock coat of the late 1780s. The most fashionable coat styles for men featured fronts curving sharply back, a high turned-down collar and long tight sleeves. By the 1780s the side pleats had moved towards the centre back seam, and were much less voluminous than in previous decades.



The buttons were worked in embroidery silks matching the colours of the coat, probably over a wooden base. The design is quartered; each quartering is created by a type of needle-weaving where the silk threads are laid side-by-side, then passed over and under each other.
Bibliographic References
  • Hart, Avril and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, London: V&A Publications, 1998, p. 84
  • Silk: Fibre, Fabric and Fashion, edited by Lesley Ellis Miller and Ana Cabrera Lafuente with Claire Allen-Johnstone, Thames and Hudson Ltd. in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom, 2021, p. 106
Collection
Accession Number
T.92-1962

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record createdAugust 15, 2006
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