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Coat, waistcoat and breeches

  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    1760 - 1765 (weaving)
    1760 - 1765 (sewing)
    1820 - 1904 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen, silver, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven cut, uncut and voided velvet, buckram, hand-embroidered with silver purl and spangles, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:

    828-1904

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A man's coat, waistcoat and breeches of dusky pink and brown cut, uncut and voided silk velvet. The velvet is woven to shape in a border pattern of a meandering trail of fur with flowers against a ground of vertical zig-zags and dots. The voided areas are woven with silver strip and elements of the flowers have been embroidered with silver spangles and purl. The coat has a round neckline, bound with a narrow strip of velvet. The shaped, two-piece sleeves are moderately loose, ending between wrist and elbow with deep round cuffs (17.5 cm at the top, 19.5 at the bottom). The front edges curve slightly from neck to chest, then run straight to the hem, following the vertical line of the woven border. The skirts are wide below the hip and set in pleats at the side (17.0 cm). There is an inverted pleat on each side of the centre back opening. There is a scalloped pocket flap on each front at hip level. The pockets are lined with coarse linen, the pocket flaps and cuffs with white silk satin. The front edges, pocket flaps, cuffs, and back vent edges are interlined with buckram, and the front skirts with linen. There are 12 buttonholes on the left front.

The waistcoat has two fronts of the woven-to-shape velvet, with wide skirts below the waist. The front edges curve slightly from neck to chest and straight to the waist, where a fish (dart) from pocket to side seam angles the front edges of the skirts. There are 9 buttonholes on the left front.

The breeches are made from the ground pattern of the velvet, without any border design. They are cut in two fronts, two backs and a two-piece waistband. The backs are higher than the fronts, with the back fullness gathered into the waistbands. The breeches have a fall front, a pocket and flap in each side, with a watch pocket in the front right waistband.

The suit was probably worn in the theatre during the 19th century and extensively repaired. The centre back seam of the coat has been taken in and let out again. The coat and waist coat have been relined with white silk satin at least once. The waistcoat back of pink ribbed silk and pink woollen twill are replacements, which have later been widened for a larger wearer. The breeches have also been relined with cotton and white silk satin. The original buttons no longer remain; they have been replaced on the coat, waistcoat and breeches legs with embroidered buttons, and cast brass buttons on the breeches fall front, pockets and waistbands.

Place of Origin

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

Date

1760 - 1765 (weaving)
1760 - 1765 (sewing)
1820 - 1904 (altered)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen, silver, silk thread, linen thread; hand-woven cut, uncut and voided velvet, buckram, hand-embroidered with silver purl and spangles, hand-sewn

Object history note

Purchased in 1904 from Messrs. Ernest Brown & Phillips, Leicester Galleries, Leicester Square.

Descriptive line

A man's coat, waistcoat and breeches, 1760-65, English; pink and brown silk velvet, woven to shape, fur motif, French?, 1760-65, embroidered; altered 1820-1904

Materials

Silk (textile); Linen (material); Buckram; Silver strip; Silk thread; Linen thread

Techniques

Hand weaving; Velvet weave; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing

Categories

Men's clothes; Textiles; Formal wear

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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