Waistcoat

1795-1800 (made), 1870-1910 (altered)
Waistcoat thumbnail 1
Waistcoat thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

By the late 1790s waistcoats were short, reaching to just below the waist, and they had deep collars and large revers (lapels). The double-breasted style was popular for coats and waistcoats in the late 1790s. A grid of purple and white silk ribbons has been laid over the white silk taffeta of this waistcoat, with buttons covered in silk threads of the same colours to match.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, cotton; hand-woven, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Man's waistcoat, 1795-1800, British; white silk taffeta, overlaid with knotted white and purple ribbon, altered 1870-1910
Physical Description
Man's waistcoat with a 2-inch (5 cm) collar, revers, straight fronts and hems, reaching to the waist. There are no pockets, only a pocket welt on each front. The fronts, collar, pocket welts and revers are made of white silk taffeta, overlaid with ⅛ inch (3 mm) silk ribbons in purple and white knotted in a grid and diagonal pattern arrangement. The back and lining are made of bleached cotton. The edges of the collar, pocket welts, fronts and hem are bound with ⅜ inch (9 mm) purple silk ribbon. The waistcoat has a double-breasted effect with 9 purple and white silk thread covered buttons set back from 7 worked buttonholes on the left front and 9 purple and white silk thread covered buttons on the right front.



The waistcoat was altered in the 19th century, probably for fancy dress. The bottom 6 buttons on the right front were moved to the right front edge; part of the centre back seam was unpicked and then roughly resewn. A loop of cotton tape was sewn to each front by the side seam.
Dimensions
  • Weight: 0.34kg
  • Centre front length: 17.25in (maximum)
  • Back width: 11in
  • Top of right shoulder to hem length: 51.0cm (approx)
  • Chest under armholes circumference: 81.0cm (approx)
Marks and Inscriptions
Surtees (machine embroidered in red thread on white tape, sewn to right back lining above the hem)
Credit line
Given by Miss H. L. Surtees
Summary
By the late 1790s waistcoats were short, reaching to just below the waist, and they had deep collars and large revers (lapels). The double-breasted style was popular for coats and waistcoats in the late 1790s. A grid of purple and white silk ribbons has been laid over the white silk taffeta of this waistcoat, with buttons covered in silk threads of the same colours to match.
Collection
Accession Number
T.14-1955

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record createdMarch 1, 2003
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