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Pair of waistcoat panels

Pair of waistcoat panels

  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Great Britain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1770s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk satin with silks and chenille, net

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr Margery Simmons

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Fashionable embroideries of the late 18th century were usually worked to create a very smooth, flat appearance, alleviated in this instance by the use of applied net and by small amounts of chenille thread (in the W-shapes which form part of the ground pattern). French embroidered waistcoats were very popular in England and the Exchequer Records in the Public Records Office refer to many instances of French waistcoat panels being smuggled across the Channel to avoid paying duty. Embroiderers in Britain also worked waistcoat shapes in similar designs.

Waistcoat panels were embroidered to shape; the areas of undecorated silk allowed the waistcoat to be cut and fitted to whatever size was required. In this panel the pocket flap was embroidered in the upper right hand corner and was then cut out, hemmed and stitched into place.

Physical description

Pair of men's unused waistcoat panels of embroidered silk satin with silks. Ivory satin embroidered in coloured silks and white chenille in satin and stem stitches and French knots with applied brown satin and net. With a plain mauve edging with formalised leaves growing at intervals with centres of applied satin and net with chenille embroidery and the serrated edges in green silk in satin stitch. From the leaves spring, alternately, a spray of tulips, forget-me-knots and bell-like flowers, and a small spray of pink and white four-petalled flowers. The pocket flap is similarly decorated. The main area is ornamented with an all-over pattern of formal mauve and blue leaves and 'W' motifs worked in white chenille.

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Great Britain (possibly, made)


1770s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk satin with silks and chenille, net


Length: 80.5 cm each maximum, Width: 51 cm each maximum, Length: 31.75 in each, Width: 19.75 in each

Descriptive line

Pair of men's unused waistcoat panels of embroidered silk satin with silks, French or British, 1770s


Silk; Silk; Chenille; Satin; Net



Subjects depicted



Fashion; Embroidery; Textiles; Men's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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