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Boy's Waistcoat, Embroidered

1790-1810
Origin: Europe, France (probably)
L: (front) 19 3/8"; (back) 18 3/8".
Ribbed cream color silk, embroidered to shape with silk; linen back, front linings and pockets.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1970-109
Boy's collarless and sleeveless waistcoat cut down from a larger man's waistcoat. Waistcoat has ribbed ivory silk taffeta fronts with embroidered floral design in shaded pinks, coral blues, gold, yellow, and green silk, primarily in satin stitch, with the addition of stem, chain, and French knots. Embroidery is concentrated on fronts, hem, and shaped pocket flaps. Seven fabric-covered embroidered buttons and worked buttonholes. Linen lining and back sections original.
Label:Boy's Waistcoat
Probably France, 1790-1810, cut down later
Silk embroidered with silk, lined with linen, linen back
1970-109
This boy's waistcoat appears oddly proportioned, with oversized pocket flaps and out-of-scale embroidery. The odd proportions are the result of alterations. The small waistcoat was actually made from a man's garment. The scale of the embroidery and the large pocket flaps are more in keeping with the man's waistcoat. To make the smaller garment, the tailor or seamstress removed a section of textile from above the pocket flaps to shorten the body. Additional fabric was cut from the underarm seams. The original linen back and linings were cut down and reused as well.