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Man's waistcoat, sleeved, silk needlework

1700-1720
Origin: England
OL: 36 1/2"
Silk needlework on tabby linen; cotton lining.
Gift of Mrs. Cora Ginsburg
Acc. No. 1991-478
Sleeved waistcoat in golds and browns embroidered primarily in silk back and chain stitches on white linen. Design consists of floral sprigs and concentrated flowers around edges, with vermicelli embroidered ground; design continues to back lower, around hem and up back vent. Collarless neckline, 17 buttons (1 missing); with 16 buttonholes cut open. Sleeves embroidered on lower 7", with single button closure at end of sleeve. Shaped pocket flaps lined with cotton; functional pockets. Constructed with inner flap behind buttonholes to prevent shirt showing through behind buttonholes.
Label:Sleeved Waistcoat
Britain, ca. 1710
Linen embroidered with silk, lined with cotton
G1991-478, gift of Mrs. Cora Ginsburg
Although partially covered by the gentleman's suit coat, waistcoats often had elaborate decoration. Silk embroidery in this example is worked through an inner backing fabric with back stitch quilting filling the spaces between the flowers. The background areas of quilting have 24 to 28 backstitches per inch.