Waistcoat

1780-1789 (made)
Waistcoat thumbnail 1
Waistcoat thumbnail 2
+2
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, linen; hand-woven satin, chenille, warp-frame woven net, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Man's court waistcoat, 1780s, English or French; white silk, embroidered, in Beatrix Potter, Tailor of Gloucester
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.
Dimensions
  • Top of right collar to hem length: 71.0cm (approx)
  • Chest under armholes circumference: 97.0cm (approx)
Historical context
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'.
Association
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
The Ultimate Peter Rabbit. A Visual Guide to the World of Peter Rabbit, Dorling Kindersley, p.40
Collection
Accession Number
652A-1898

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record createdJanuary 27, 2004
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