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Beach ensemble

Beach ensemble

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1937-1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Arnson (designer)
    Bunting & Sons (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    linen canvas, celluloid zipper and wood-soled sandals

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Beach ensemble in navy blue linen and white linen canvas with blue stripe. Sleeveless long coat in blue and white striped linen, patch pockets lined up precisely with stripe, white collar and lapels as well as breast pocket flap. Navy linen blouse-jacket, with puffed sleeves and shoulder-pads, striped linen sleeve bands and lapels. Welted breast and hip pockets. Single buttonhole with double button fastening. Blue and white striped linen shorts, stripes chevroned. Contrasting direction stripes on patch pockets, celluloid zipper at side, turn-ups. D rings and straps to fasten waist. Blue and white striped linen belt to fasten coat, square buckle. Sandals with heavy fluted high wooden platform soles, made in four sections to provide some flexibility, blue and white striped linen canvas uppers to match garments.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1937-1938 (made)


Arnson (designer)
Bunting & Sons (makers)

Materials and Techniques

linen canvas, celluloid zipper and wood-soled sandals


Length: 122 cm coat, Length: 60 cm jacket, Circumference: 94 cm jacket bust, Circumference: 70 cm shorts, Length: 44 cm shorts

Object history note

RF 71/920
Group of beachwear (T.292 to 301-1971) bought at a Christies auction in April 1971. Although sold as belonging to an anonymous lady, these pieces were owned and worn by Vera, Lady Swettenham, who married Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham (1850-1946) in 1939 after his divorce from his first wife of 60 years.

The Swettenham property lists identify this suit as having originally been purchased from Arnson of 3 Clifford Street, London, at a cost of £10.10.0 each for the jacket and shorts. The bathing cloak and belt cost £20.00 and the sandals were £9.9.0 from Bunting & Son of 15e Conduit Street, London. The ensemble was probably worn with a "fawn fancy cotton jersey" that cost £5.5 from Arnson, but was not acquired. The complete outfit would have cost over £50.

Descriptive line

Beach ensemble, 1938. Arnson. Blue and white striped linen canvas, co-ordinated coat, shorts, jacket, belt and wood-soled canvas sandals

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail


Linen; Wood


Fashion; Accessories; Footwear; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Ready to wear


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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