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Boy's waistcoat

Boy's waistcoat

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1820-1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered satin, lined with twill

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Tayleur, through His Hon. Judge D. E. Peck

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Trousers had replaced breeches for boys in the 18th century, and derived from those worn by working men such soldiers, sailors, fishermen and farm labourers. Trousers were looser fitting and wider in the leg than breeches, and more practical and comfortable for those who led an active life. The fashion for shorter trousers like these came to the UK from the USA in the 1860s, as part of a suit with a variety of styles of jacket.

Physical description

Boy's waistcoat lined with ivory-coloured twill, the front of ivory-coloured satin with pockets and a shawl collar; the collar and front hand embroidered in coloured silks with sprays of rosebuds, forget-me-nots and pansies. The back is of white cotton and has tapes and brass bound eyelet holes to adjust the fit. The garment fastens the length of the front with six satin-bound buttons and stitched buttonholes.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1820-1830 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered satin, lined with twill


Length: 38 cm centre back

Object history note

Possibly worn by the donor, John Tayleur, as a child.

Historical context note

The flowers used as motifs in the embroidery have romantic meanings in the language of flowers which was popular during the 19th century: roses mean love, and rosebuds therefore love in its early stages, or a confession of love; pansies stand for thoughts; forget-me-nots for true love or remembrance. In this combination, they suggest that the waistcoat, which was originally embroidered as adult-sized, was probably intended as a betrothal gift.

Descriptive line

Ivory-coloured satin embroidered with rosebuds, forget-me-nots and pansies; England, 1820-30


Satin; Twill


Stitching; Embroidery

Subjects depicted

Rosebuds; Pansies; Forget-me-nots


Children & Childhood; Childrens' clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

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