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Waistcoat

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1844-45 (made)
    28 January 1845 (worn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Norman, Julia Miss (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    silk embroidered with coloured silks, lined glazed cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Misses Montefiore in memory of the late John Montefiore, Esq.

  • Museum number:

    T.669-1919

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the early to mid-19th century, cream or white silk waistcoats were popular for wedding wear. They were often embroidered, sometimes by family members or even by the future bride.

A hand-written paper label sewn into this waistcoat links this to the marriage of John Montefiore and Julia Norman on the 28th January 1845. This waistcoat was embroidered by the bride, but was probably not intended for her husband-to-be. We have the white and silver figured silk waistcoat he wore for the ceremony, and another smaller, identically embroidered waistcoat also associated with the wedding (see T.668-1919 and T.669-1919). The measurements of these waistcoats show that John Montefiore was rather smaller than the man for whom this waistcoat was made.

The choice of forget-me-nots, which signify fidelity, would have been appropriate for a wedding waistcoat. The personal nature of the embroidery and the size suggest that this waistcoat may have been worked for a close male relative, perhaps Julia's father as she had no brothers, to wear to the wedding.

Physical description

White silk waistcoat fronts embroidered with coloured silks; a regularly spaced sprig motif of small blue forget-me-nots. Lined in white cotton, 7 covered buttons down the front and turned-over collar. Lacing in back to adjust fit

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1844-45 (made)
28 January 1845 (worn)

Artist/maker

Norman, Julia Miss (maker)

Materials and Techniques

silk embroidered with coloured silks, lined glazed cotton

Marks and inscriptions

Wedding Waistcoat
Worked by Miss Julia Norman
28th January 1845
Hand-written label attached to inside of waistcoat front

Dimensions

Circumference: 112 cm chest and waist, Weight: 0.46 kg

Object history note

This waistcoat was embroidered by Julia Norman and is associated with her marriage to Mr John Montefiore on the 28th January 1845. It was probably not worn by John Montefiore as the bridegroom's waistcoat, of silver and white brocaded silk, is smaller in size than this. There is another embroidered waistcoat which is closer in size to the white waistcoat.

The waistcoats were given to the V&A in 1919 by the Misses Montefiore in accordance with the wishes of his son (unclear whether he was their father or brother), also called John Montefiore (1851-1916)

Materials

Silk; Silk brocade; Glazed cotton

Techniques

Hand embroidery

Subjects depicted

Forget-me-nots (flowers)

Categories

Fashion; Marriage; Clothing; Embroidery

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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