#1683 $950Gentleman's satin damask waistcoat, c.1790-1810
By the end of the 18th century, men's waistcoats had evolved to a shorter length with a straight bottom. The elaborate floral damask pattern is reminiscent of the hand-embroidered patterns found in earlier waistcoats. The fronts of the waistcoat are fashioned from black silk satin lined with beige linen. The back is of plain beige linen.
Decorative waistcoats were generally made from panels called "waistcoat patterns." These panels included the uncut fronts, collars or lapel facings, button covers, and pocket flaps. The waistcoat is completely hand stitched.
The condition is almost excellent. On the hem and pocket edges, there is a slight loss of the floral pattern. The buttons are of black glass with metal shanks. The top five buttons are missing.
This delightful waistcoat was purchased at a New England auction. The waistcoat could be English, American, or American-made from imported panels. Whatever the exact origin, the waistcoat is a stunning example of a fine decorative pattern in men's wear from two centuries ago.
It measures: 34" chest, 32" waist, and 24" from shoulder to front hem (shorter in back).