Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Waistcoat

  • Place of origin:

    England (possibly, made)
    France (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1780-1789 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, linen; hand-woven satin, chenille, warp-frame woven net, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:

    652A-1898

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Beatrix Potter found some of the inspiration for her book The Tailor of Gloucester at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A). She told her editor, Norman Warne, 'I have been delighted to find I may draw some most beautiful 18th century clothes at S. Kensington museum'. This waistcoat, which the Museum acquired in 1898, is one piece she copied for her illustrations, and it appears several times in the book.

The waistcoat would have been part of the suit worn by men for court occasions. The embroidery was worked in a professional workshop, with coloured silk in stem, satin stitches and French knots. The front edges are laid with silk net woven on the newly invented warp frame, and edged with couched chenille thread.

Physical description

Man’s waistcoat with a standing 1½-inch (3.8 cm) collar, curving fronts and skirts reaching to the top of the thigh. Each front has a pocket and pointed pocket flap. The fronts and pocket flaps are made of white silk satin, the back of bleached linen. The waistcoat and pockets are lined with linen; the front skirt and pocket-flap linings and front facings are white silk satin. The waistcoat is appliquéd with lilac-coloured silk satin and white silk warp-frame net and embroidered-to-shape with silk floss in white and shades of pink, green and blue and chenille thread in green and purple. It is worked with stem and satin stitch, French knots and couching in a pattern of flowers and leaves against a background of repeating floral sprigs in a diamond shape, on the collar and pocket flaps, below the pockets and along the front edges and hems. There are 11 worked buttonholes along the left front with 12 embroidered buttons on the right front.

Place of Origin

England (possibly, made)
France (possibly, made)

Date

1780-1789 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk, linen; hand-woven satin, chenille, warp-frame woven net, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

Dimensions

Length: 71.0 cm top of right collar to hem approx, Circumference: 97.0 cm chest under armholes approx

Historical context note

Beatrix Potter found some of the inspiration for her book 'The Tailor of Gloucester' at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A). She told her editor, Norman Warne, 'I have been delighted to find I may draw some most beatiful 18th century cloths at S. Kensington museum'.

Descriptive line

Man's court waistcoat, 1780s, English or French; white silk, embroidered, in Beatrix Potter, Tailor of Gloucester

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

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit. A Visual Guide to the World of Peter Rabbit, Dorling Kindersley, p.40

Materials

Silk (textile); Linen (material); Silk thread

Techniques

Hand weaving; Satin weave; Hand embroidery; Hand sewing

Categories

Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project; Men's clothes; Court

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.