Jacket

1930s-1960s (made)
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Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The V&A has several items of Chinese embroidery made for the export market, including crepe shawls in the style of 'Mantones de Manila', and Chinese embroidered jabhlas (blouses) for the Parsi community in West India. Stylised Chinese figures and landscapes were very popular design motifs from the late 19th century to the first half of the twentieth century, and were used in such export shawls and blouses. This jacket, produced for the London department store Woolland Brothers and thought to date to 1930s - 1960, has a very similar embroidered design, reflecting the continued trendiness of such embroidered products.

Although the figure and landscape genre was fairly generic, individual elements were sometimes customised either according to the taste of the target market, or to make the design 'contemporary' to the times. The details of this jacket demonstrate a move towards the 'contemporary': the figures are wearing cheongsam and jackets in the fashion of the 1930s - 40s, and the embroidered cars are definitely a modern novelty in this genre of Chinese embroidery made for the export market.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Polychrome embroidery on black plain weave silk ground
Brief Description
Jacket, polychrome embroidery on black silk, Tex, China, Embroidery, 20th Century
Physical Description
Jacket for a woman. Black plain weave ground embroidered with very bright twisted silks in satin stitch. Black satin lining. Front fastening with one button, long sleeves. It features figures dressed in clothes in 1930s-style, surrounded by tropical landscape and motor cars. Tagged at the collar with a "Woolland Brothers" label.
Dimensions
  • Collar to hem length: 71cm
Object history
This embroidered jacket probably dates to from the 1930s to not later than 1960. It belonged to the current owner’s husband’s grand-aunt, Cynthia Agnes Madden, daughter of Agnes Tate who was the granddaughter of Sir Henry Tate, founder of the Tate Gallery. Cynthia died in about 1975 in Ireland and as she never married, her belongings were left to current owner’s father in law (her godson and nephew).
Summary
The V&A has several items of Chinese embroidery made for the export market, including crepe shawls in the style of 'Mantones de Manila', and Chinese embroidered jabhlas (blouses) for the Parsi community in West India. Stylised Chinese figures and landscapes were very popular design motifs from the late 19th century to the first half of the twentieth century, and were used in such export shawls and blouses. This jacket, produced for the London department store Woolland Brothers and thought to date to 1930s - 1960, has a very similar embroidered design, reflecting the continued trendiness of such embroidered products.



Although the figure and landscape genre was fairly generic, individual elements were sometimes customised either according to the taste of the target market, or to make the design 'contemporary' to the times. The details of this jacket demonstrate a move towards the 'contemporary': the figures are wearing cheongsam and jackets in the fashion of the 1930s - 40s, and the embroidered cars are definitely a modern novelty in this genre of Chinese embroidery made for the export market.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.108-2009

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record createdDecember 29, 2009
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