Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Coat and breeches

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1680 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, hand woven and hand sewn, silver, gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ten small round buttons, worked in silver-gilt thread, ornament each of the pockets of this brocaded silver-gilt and white silk coat. Pockets such as these were intended to remain open and were therefore furnished with purely decorative buttonholes and buttons. Tailors experimented with the shape and position of the pockets as the new fashion of closely fitted, knee-length coat and waistcoat developed during the late 17th century. Some coats have the pockets aligned vertically and others horizontally, although by the early 18th century the horizontal style prevailed.

This coat forms part of the wedding suit of Sir Thomas Isham (1657–1681). He died of smallpox, aged 24, the day before his wedding and the suit was never worn. It is part of the Isham collection, acquired in 1900, one of the Museum’s earliest and most important acquisitions of 17th-century dress.

Physical description

A man's coat of white ribbed silk, brocaded in a pattern of leaves and sprigs with silver-gilt thread. Co-ordinating breeches

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1680 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, hand woven and hand sewn, silver, gold

Object history note

This suit is reputed to have been made for the wedding of Sir Thomas Isham, which was scheduled for 9 August 1681. However, the bridegroom died of smallpox the day before the wedding.

Descriptive line

wedding, 1680c, English; White brocaded silk, woven silver-gilt thread

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. 96


Silk brocade; Linen; Silver-gilt


Hand weaving; Brocading; Hand sewing


Fashion; Clothing; Textiles; Marriage; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.