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Court suit

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1810-1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    [Coat] Wool, silk, silk thread, linen thread, steel; hand sewn, machine-made buttons

  • Museum number:

    T.106&A to S-1953

  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, room 40, case CA2, shelf FIG3

By the decade 1810 to 1820, men’s court dress was becoming more subdued in colour and decoration. Once made of a lavishly embroidered silk or velvet, court coats of this decade were a dark-coloured wool, much like fashionable day wear. The colourfully embellished waistcoat characteristic of 18th-century court dress remains, retaining its old-fashioned ‘skirts’ and pockets. Splendid cut-steel buttons are the only decoration on the coat. They were made of flat circles of polished steel decorated with faceted steel rivets, set to sparkle and reflect the light. These were a fashionable style of button in the late 18th century which continued to be worn with court dress well into the 1870s.

Physical description

[Coat] A court coat of plum-coloured broadcloth with a cut-away front and stand-up collar. Lined with ivory silk twill. Eight cut-steel buttons on the front and three on each cuff. Fastens with two steel hooks and eyes on coat front.
[Waistcoat] A court waistcoat of cream silk taffeta, embroidered with coloured silks in a floral pattern. Waistcoat has short skirts, stand-up collar, false pockets (shaped flap stitched to fronts) and embroidered buttons. Lined and backed with bleached cotton. Four cotton tape ties at back.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)


1810-1820 (made)


unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

[Coat] Wool, silk, silk thread, linen thread, steel; hand sewn, machine-made buttons


[Coat] Length: 104.7 cm approx., Circumference: 107.0 cm chest
[Waistcoat] Length: 62.6 cm approx., Circumference: 105.5 cm chest

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

Lockenpracht und Herrschermacht. Perucken als Statussymbol und modisches Accessoire, exh. cat. Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig & Kunstmuseum des Landes Niedersachsen, 2006, no. 22, p. 82 & cat. 4.22, p. 212.
Marion Kite, 'The Conservation of a Bag Wig, c. 1820', Textile Conservation Newsletter, 18, 1990, pp. 7-8.
Marion Kite, ''Textilien mit Leder, Haar, Pelz, Federn und Pergament', Restauro, 1994, pp. 404-408.


Cotton; Wool; Silk thread; Linen thread; Silk taffeta; Silk twill; Cut steel buttons


Hand sewing


Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection code


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