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Coat

  • Place of origin:

    France (textile, weaving)
    Italy (sewing)

  • Date:

    1760s (weaving)
    1760s (sewing)
    1850 - 1910 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, silver-gilt; hand-woven velvet, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by W. R. Crawshay

  • Museum number:

    T.28&A-1952

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Such a luxurious silk velvet elaborately embellished with silver-gilt thread would only have been worn for high-society events at Court. The embroidery is a dense pattern of large flowers and leaves, executed in a variety of threads with purl and spangles. This very formal style of dress was quite conservative in style. The flared skirts of the coat, deep cuffs and absence of a collar reflect the fashions of the 1750s. The provenance of this ensemble suggests an Italian origin.

Physical description

A man’s Court coat and waistcoat of cut silk velvet, figured in a design of a black and gold floral motif against a dark red ground. The coat has a round neck, bound with a narrow strip of velvet. The shaped two-piece sleeves extend to the wrist with open cuffs. The front edges curve from neck to hem with skirts below the hip, set in pleats. There is an inverted pleat on each side of the centre back opening. There is a scalloped pocket flap on each coat front at hip level. The sleeves, pocket flaps and cuffs are lined with oyster-coloured silk satin. The coat is embroidered to shape with couched silver-gilt filé, purl and spangles in a floral design, around the front neck, down each front, on the pocket flaps and around the pockets, around the back vent, on the side edge of the front skirts, on the cuffs and part of the oyster cuff lining. There are 13 passementerie buttons, worked in silver-gilt foil, purl and filé, on the right front edge from neck to pocket flap. There are 4 buttons on each cuff, one above the side pleats, 3 below each pocket flap, one holding them at the hem (left side only) and 2 on the side edges of the back skirts.

The waistcoat fronts are made from the figured silk velvet. It has a round neck, bound with a narrow strip of velvet. The waistcoat fronts curve from neck to hem, reaching to about mid-thigh, with skirts below the hip. There is a scalloped pocket flap on each front at hip level. The pockets are lined with linen, the waistcoat fronts and pocket flaps with oyster-coloured silk satin. The waistcoat is embroidered to shape with couched silver-gilt filé, purl and spanges in the same design as the coat, around the front neck, down the fronts and across the hem, around the pockets and on the pocket flaps. There are 12 small passementerie buttons, worked in silver-gilt foil, purl and filé, on the right front and 12 corresponding buttonholes, worked in couched silver-gilt filé, on the left front. There are 2 buttons below each pocket flap.

The coat and waistcoat were altered in the late 19th century, for either theatrical wear or fancy dress. The fronts and back of the coat were relined in cream silk satin, and the pleats reconfigured. The cuffs may have been adjusted to lengthen the sleeves. The waistcoat back was replaced with one made of ribbed red silk, lined with off-white ribbed silk, open down the back seam, with cotton-tape ties. The waistcoat has been lined with crepeline for Museum display

Place of Origin

France (textile, weaving)
Italy (sewing)

Date

1760s (weaving)
1760s (sewing)
1850 - 1910 (altered)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, silver-gilt; hand-woven velvet, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

Descriptive line

A man's court coat and waistcoat, 1760s, Italian, red, black & gold figured velvet, embroidered silver-gilt, Lyons, 1760s; altered 1850-1910

Materials

Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silver-gilt thread

Techniques

Hand weaving; Velvet weave; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing

Categories

Clothing; Ceremonial objects; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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