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  • Place of origin:

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

  • Date:

    1795-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This double-breasted coat demonstrates the exaggerated style of the late 1790s. It has a very high turned-down collar and large revers (lapels). The coat is now cut straight across in front and, following the example of women’s dress, the waistline is several inches above the natural level. The double-breasted style in both coats and waistcoats was a fashion that began in the 1780s. Once a beautiful shot purple and blue, the dye colouring the silk of this coat has proved fugitive, and over time it has changed to a drab beige.

Physical description

A man’s coat of shot peacock-blue and purple silk twill, with a 2-piece, 5¼-inch (13.2 cm), turned-down collar, revers and curving, 2-piece sleeves ending in blind cuffs, 2⅝ inches (6.7 cm) deep. The fronts are cut across at the waist, with pleats 2-inch deep (5 cm), beside the centre back. Each front has a pocket with a shaped pocket flap and a buttoned pocket underneath. The centre-back seam is open below the hip. The back and sleeves are lined with linen, the skirts with the shot blue and purple silk twill, the pockets with coarse linen. There is 1 worked buttonhole on the left front edge, with 4 self-covered buttons to the left of it, and 3 buttons (1 missing) on the right front. Underneath each cuff is a small self-covered button and worked buttonhole. There is 1 button at the top and 1 at the hem of the pleats, and 2 in between.

Place of Origin

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


1795-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen; hand-woven, hand-sewn


Length: 130.0 cm top of right collar to hem approx, Width: 51 in including sleeves, Circumference: 99.0 cm chest under armholes approx

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 30319/1902.

Descriptive line

Man's coat, 1795-1800, British or French; Peacock blue and purple silk twill, double-breasted

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum (Nathalie Rothstein, ed.) Four Hundred Years of Fashion. London, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1984, cat. 100.


Silk (textile); Linen (material)


Twill weave; Hand sewing; Hand weaving


Men's clothes; Formal wear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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