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  • Place of origin:

    England (textile, weaving)
    England (ensemble, sewing)

  • Date:

    1770s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven and hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Rev. R. Brooke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This ensemble illustrates fashionable formal dress for men in the 1770s. The fine silk velvet and embroidered waistcoat indicate that it was probably worn during the evening, at the theatre, opera or the always convivial Assembly Rooms located in the more fashionable towns and cities. By the 1770s the waistcoat has shortened further and ends at the top of the thigh. The skirts continue to diminish in volume and move further to the back. The sleeves and cuffs are getting narrower. Compared to the florid Rococo style of the 1750s, the embroidery on the waistcoat is becoming more abstract and is restricted to a smaller area of the garment.

Physical description

A man's coat and breeches of maroon silk velvet. The coat has a round neckline and a narrow standing collar (1.4 cm). The shaped, two-piece sleeves extend to the wrist with round cuffs (10 cm top, 10.7 cm bottom). The coat fronts curve from neck to hem, with skirts below the hip, set in pleats (13 cm) at the side-back seam. There is an inverted pleat on each side of the centre back opening. There is scalloped pocket flap on each front at hip level. The pocket and sleeves are lined with linen, the pocket flaps, cuffs, fronts and backs with oyster-coloured silk satin. There are 11 velvet covered buttons on the right front, from neck to pocket flap, with 11 corresponding buttonholes, worked in maroon silk twist, on the left front. There are 3 metal hooks on the right front edge, at the neck, 3rd and 5th buttons down, with corresponding metal eyes on the left front edge. There are 3 buttons on each cuff and 3 below each pocket flap.

The breeches are made of the same velvet and cut in 2 leg fronts, 2 leg backs and 2 waistbands. The backs are cut higher than the leg fronts, and gathered into the back of the waistbands. The breeches have a fall front. There is a pocket in the front of the right waistband and one with a pocket flap below the waistband on each side. The pockets and waistbands are lined with fustian, the fall-front flap with oyster-coloured silk satin. The legs are unlined; the centre back and front seams and the inside leg seams are covered with linen tape. The waistbands fasten in front with 2 velvet-covered buttons. The pockets and fall front flap fasten with smaller buttons in each corner. There are 5 small buttons on the outside leg above each knee, with velvet buckle bands at the bottom. The waistbands at centre back originally fastened with a buckle band, this has been removed and the fabric used to mend at the back waistband. A buttonhole on the left waistband was stitched up, the gap between the waistbands filled with a triangle of silk satin. Two eyelets were worked on each waistband at centre back for fastening with 2 linen-tape ties.

Place of Origin

England (textile, weaving)
England (ensemble, sewing)


1770s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven and hand-sewn

Descriptive line

A mans coat and breeches, 1770s English; Maroon silk velvet, English, 1770s


Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread; Linen thread


Hand weaving; Velvet weave; Hand sewing


Clothing; Formal wear; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Textiles and Fashion Collection

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