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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1780-1789 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Part of the Gorst collection, given by Mrs Katherine Rachael Thomas

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This fashionable red wool frock coat of the 1780s is embroidered with tassels in silver-gilt thread on the cuffs, the points of the collar, and down the fronts. The buttons are worked in silver-gilt thread over a wooden core.

The most fashionable styles for men in this period featured coat fronts curving sharply back, a high turned-down collar, 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.

Physical description

A man’s coat of scarlet woollen broadcloth, with a 2-piece, 3-inch (7.7 cm) turn-down collar, pointed at the back and curving 2-piece sleeves end in cuffs, 3 inches (7.7 cm) deep. The fronts curve from neck to hem with pleats 3⅝ inches (9.2 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 and pocket flaps are lined with red silk twill, the pockets and sleeves with bleached linen. The coat is embroidered with silver thread, in a pattern of loops with bows and tassels on the collar, cuffs and pocket flaps and along the front edges. Ten embroidered motifs outline buttonholes along the left front, the top 6 are cut. There are 10 buttons covered in silver thread along the right front edge, 3 below each pocket, 2 on each cuff and 1 at the top, centre and hem of the pleats. There are 2 paris of hooks and eyes on the fronts, 1 below the collar and 1 at the centre of the chest.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1780-1789 (made)



Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

LO / 304
stamped in black ink at top of left sleeve lining


Length: 117.0 cm top of right collar to hem approx, Circumference: 107 cm chest under armholes approx

Descriptive line

Man's coat, 1780-1789, British; scarlet wool embroidered with silver thread, tassel motif

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

Hart, Avril and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, London: V&A Publications, 1998, p. 84


Wool; Linen (material); Silver-gilt; Silk (textile); Silver thread


Hand embroidery; Hand sewing; Hand weaving; Fulling


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

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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