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The dense covering of gold embroidery on this silk waistcoat indicates that it was worn as formal Court dress. This type was fashionable around the 1760s. A gentleman would have worn it underneath a matching coat. The coat would have been open at the front, with tails sweeping to the back to reveal the costly embroidery, concentrated for this reason along the middle and bottom of the waistcoat.
Although very decorative to modern eyes, traditionally Court dress in Britain was more restrained than that worn elsewhere in Europe. There multi-coloured flowers and plants adorned coats and waistcoats in colourful and complicated patterns.
Man's waistcoat of brocaded silk in gold on crimson.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
M, 1760-1770, English; Red and yellow brocade, plant form, woven to shape
Fashion; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project
Textiles and Fashion Collection