Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    France (weaving)
    France (embroidering)
    Great Britain (sewing)

  • Date:

    1770-1779 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk with silver thread, enamelling, silver purl & spangles, silk thread; hand-sewn and hand-embroidered

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Earl of Gosford

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA1, shelf FIG5

Most of the patterning on this glittering 1770s waistcoat has been fashioned during the weaving of the silk fabric. The fabric was known as a silver tissue, and incorporated an additional weft of silver thread woven in with the green silk warp and weft. This created the silver stripe and wavy silver border seen on the pocket and hem of the waistcoat. Additional colours in the weave produced the red and white flowers and green stems.

Once off the loom, further decoration was added to the fabric with embroidered red foils and silver spangles. Striped fabrics were very fashionable in both men and women’s dress in the 1770s, heralding the geometrical patterning characteristic of Neo-classicism. This waistcoat is clearly in a transitional period, incorporating the flowers and meandering lines of the waning Rococo style.

Physical description

Waistcoat, woven-to-shape in silver/green silk tissue, embroidered with red foils, silver purl & spangles

Place of Origin

France (weaving)
France (embroidering)
Great Britain (sewing)


1770-1779 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Woven silk with silver thread, enamelling, silver purl & spangles, silk thread; hand-sewn and hand-embroidered

Descriptive line

A man's court waistcoat, 1770s, British, of French green and silver woven silk, embroidered with coloured silk threads, silver thread, spangles and foils

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

Avril Hart and Susan North, Historical Fashion in Detail: the 17th and 18th centuries, London: V&A, 1998, p. 146


Silk; Silver thread; Spangles; Foil


Hand sewing


Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project


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.