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Textile, roller print

Origin: England, Lancashire
22" W x 48" L Design repeat 20"
Bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield
Acc. No. 1974-407
Textile roller printed in sepia on white. Textile depicts rural scenes, probably from a song by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), including a farmer standing in front of a cottage, wearing a smock or frock and short leggings. His spouse nearby wears a bedgown. A jockey wears a cap and short jacket, while a postboy is seen riding the lead horse drawing a carriage.
Label:"The High Mettled Racer" Textile
Lancashire, England, 1820-1830
Plate-printed cotton
G1974-407, bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield
These scenes of horse racing depict English rural people in their everyday clothing. The farmer standing in front of a cottage wears a frock, or overshirt, and leggings. His wife has on a loose work gown with a practical short skirt, called a bed gown. A postboy rides one of the two horses pulling the carriage. The jockey wears a short jacket and cap that forms the basis for jockey's costumes today, an example of what is called "fossilization."
This textile illustrates the verses of a song written by Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), a prolific composer of operas and popular verses. High mettled meant high-spirited.