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Wedding waistcoat

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1848 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    silk satin embroidered with silk, lined glazed cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Francis C. Eeles

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Mr. Eeles wore this waistcoat for his wedding in 1848. The fine white silk satin is hand-embroidered in matching white silk thread with a design of lilies of the valley and forget-me-nots. These flowers were popular for weddings, as forget-me-nots symbolise true love and lily of the valley represents purity of heart and happiness.

Physical description

White silk satin waistcoat embroidered with white silk embroidery in satin-stitch, designs of lily of the valley and forget-me-nots. Four self-covered buttons down front; undyed glazed cotton back and cream glazed cotton lining. The waistcoat has two pockets in the front.

Place of Origin

England (possibly, made)


1848 (made)



Materials and Techniques

silk satin embroidered with silk, lined glazed cotton


Circumference: 94 cm chest, Circumference: 89 cm waist, Length: 43 cm nape to waist, Length: 54.5 cm overall, front, Length: 49 cm overall, back, Width: 33 cm centre back

Object history note

This waistcoat and the associated shirt (T.561-1919) were worn by a Mr. Eeles for his wedding in 1848.

At least three Mr Eeles married in 1848, so it is unclear which of them might be associated with this waistcoat. It was originally thought that this might have been worn by Edwin Eeles, who married Harriet Elizabeth Murray at the India Office for Ecclesiastical Returns, Bengal, on 7 May 1848, but this is now in some doubt.

Labels and date

Embroidered shirt and waistcoat

Some bridegrooms chose wedding garments decorated with motifs associated with love. This white satin waistcoat, worn by a Mr Eeles for his wedding in 1848, was embroidered in silk with lilies of the valley and forget-me-nots. In the language of flowers, the former signify purity of heart and the latter true love.

Waistcoat: silk, backed and lined with glazed cotton
Shirt: cotton with cotton embroidery
Given by Francis C. Eeles
V&A: T.561, 562-1919 [2011]


Silk satin; Glazed cotton


Hand embroidery

Subjects depicted

Forget-me-nots; Lily of the valley


Marriage; Fashion; Clothing; Men's clothes; Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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