Not currently on display at the V&A

Coat

ca. 1760 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

By the 1760s men’s formal day wear was becoming more subdued in colour and decoration. This suit of wool instead of silk, with only a narrow trimming of braid, is an example of the new restraint evident in men’s clothing. By 1760 the fronts of the coat were starting to curve back. The side pleats are less voluminous than they were earlier in the century. The waistcoat has shortened to mid-thigh length, and the sleeves are cut more tightly than in the 1750s. A small upright collar appears on the formal day-coat after 1760.


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

  • Coat
  • Waistcoat
Materials and techniques
Wool, silk, linen, silk thread, linen thread, silver thread, silver spangles, silver strip; hand-woven broadcloth, twill and buckram, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn.
Brief description
Man's formal day coat and waistcoat, c.1760, English; Blue wool, embroidered silver thread & spangles
Physical description
A man's formal day coat of blue woollen broadcloth. The coat has a round neckline with a narrow (2.5 cm) stand collar. The shaped two-piece sleeves end above the wrist with a deep round cuff (17 cm at top, 19 cm at bottom). The coat fronts curve from neck to hem, with wide skirts below the hip, arranged in pleats (23 cm), one front and one back, at the side seams. There is an inverted pleat on each side of the centre back opening. There is a scalloped pocket flap on each front at hip level. The sleeves are lined with linen, the rest of the coat with blue silk twill. The coat fronts, edges of the back vent, cuffs and pocket flaps are interlined with buckram. The coat is embroidered with silver thread and spangles in a 'repeated arrow-head' design around the collar, two rows on the cuffs, down the centre fronts and around the back vent, on and around the pocket flaps. There are 11 passementerie buttons, covered with a basket weave of silver thread and strip, on the right front with 11 buttonholes, stitched with blue linen thread, on the left front. Three buttons secure each cuff to the sleeve, and there is one above the side pleats, one holding them together at the hem, and another button on the back side of the pleats. The pocket flaps are worked with three uncut buttonholes with three buttons sewn to the coat below.There are three uncut buttonholes on each side at the top of the back vent.



The waist coat fronts and backs are made of the blue broadcloth. The neckline is round; the fronts curve from waist to hem, with wide skirts below the hip, ending at mid-thigh. There are scalloped pocket flaps on each front at hip level. The waistcoat is lined with linen, the skirts with white silk twill; the front edges are faced with the silk twill. The front edges, front hems and pocket flaps are interlined. The waistcoat is embroidered with silver thread and spangles, in the same design as the coat, around the front neckline, down the front edges and front hems, on and around the pocket flaps. There are 14 small, silver thread and strip passementerie buttons on the right front and 14 linen-thread buttonholes on the left front. The pocket flaps are worked with three uncut buttonholes with three buttons sewn to the coat below.

Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Lt Col A.D. Hunter from the Gorst Collection
Summary
By the 1760s men’s formal day wear was becoming more subdued in colour and decoration. This suit of wool instead of silk, with only a narrow trimming of braid, is an example of the new restraint evident in men’s clothing. By 1760 the fronts of the coat were starting to curve back. The side pleats are less voluminous than they were earlier in the century. The waistcoat has shortened to mid-thigh length, and the sleeves are cut more tightly than in the 1750s. A small upright collar appears on the formal day-coat after 1760.
Collection
Accession number
T.73&A-1962

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Record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL
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