Norfolk Jacket thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125b

Norfolk Jacket

1890-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The Norfolk jacket was a versatile garment which became an important item in a gentleman's wardrobe. It was originally worn by the Rifle Corps in the Volunteer Movement of 1859-1860 and was adapted for shooting costume during the 1860s. It was initially known as the 'Norfolk shirt' and was at first strictly reserved for country wear.

Ownership & Use
With the growth in leisure activities and sporting pursuits during the 1870s and 1880s the Norfolk jacket became acceptable for any form of outdoor exercise, 'being especially suited for bicycling, business, fishing, pleasuring, and the moorland' (Tailor and Cutter, April 1888). Golfing attire was particularly colourful, as this extract from Golf by Horace Hutchinson suggests: In the matter of Norfolk jackets and knickerbockers, spats and particularly coloured stockings, checks and stripes, the golfer is a bird of bright and varied plumage.'

This example was probably worn for general country wear. Inside one of the pockets are a piece of paper giving the monthly rainfall for the year 1900, a stamp, metal pin and a piece of string. By the 1890s conventions had become so relaxed that smart young men were seen wearing Norfolk jackets even in the city.

Materials & Making
The Norfolk jacket was often made of Harris tweed and homespuns. It was frequently teamed up with matching knickerbockers and a soft cap such as a deerstalker. Its distinctive features were a box pleat at the centre back and another passing down each forepart. It also had a belt made of the same material. Women wore close-fitting versions of the jacket for sports, country wear and even fashionable dress. The jacket also appears in illustrations for the dress of young boys from 1859 onwards.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Neck Piece
Materials and Techniques
Tweed with sateen and cotton lining, horn, hand- and machine-sewn
Brief Description
Norfolk jacket
Physical Description
Man's Norfolk jacket made of thick grey checked tweed and a neck piece. There are 14 horn buttons altogether - six large and eight small.
Dimensions
  • Length: 78cm
  • Shoulders width: 48cm
  • Mounted height: 1500mm (approx)
  • Mounted width: 800mm (approx)
  • Mounted depth: 500mm (approx)
Dimensions checked: Measured; 13/05/1999 by LH H 78 cms, shoulders 48, sleeves 66 cms
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Norfolk jackets were worn by men who enjoyed outdoor pursuits. This warm, belted jacket proved ideal for the popular leisure activities of the 1890s. It could be worn for walking, cycling, fishing, shooting and golf, or even for an informal stroll.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Martin Kamer
Object history
Made in Britain
Summary
Object Type
The Norfolk jacket was a versatile garment which became an important item in a gentleman's wardrobe. It was originally worn by the Rifle Corps in the Volunteer Movement of 1859-1860 and was adapted for shooting costume during the 1860s. It was initially known as the 'Norfolk shirt' and was at first strictly reserved for country wear.

Ownership & Use
With the growth in leisure activities and sporting pursuits during the 1870s and 1880s the Norfolk jacket became acceptable for any form of outdoor exercise, 'being especially suited for bicycling, business, fishing, pleasuring, and the moorland' (Tailor and Cutter, April 1888). Golfing attire was particularly colourful, as this extract from Golf by Horace Hutchinson suggests: In the matter of Norfolk jackets and knickerbockers, spats and particularly coloured stockings, checks and stripes, the golfer is a bird of bright and varied plumage.'

This example was probably worn for general country wear. Inside one of the pockets are a piece of paper giving the monthly rainfall for the year 1900, a stamp, metal pin and a piece of string. By the 1890s conventions had become so relaxed that smart young men were seen wearing Norfolk jackets even in the city.

Materials & Making
The Norfolk jacket was often made of Harris tweed and homespuns. It was frequently teamed up with matching knickerbockers and a soft cap such as a deerstalker. Its distinctive features were a box pleat at the centre back and another passing down each forepart. It also had a belt made of the same material. Women wore close-fitting versions of the jacket for sports, country wear and even fashionable dress. The jacket also appears in illustrations for the dress of young boys from 1859 onwards.
Collection
Accession Number
T.356&A-1984

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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