The coat and breeches of this suit are made in velvet relief and, like the waistcoat, are embroidered with silver-plated metal sequins. As was common for this time, the shorter waistcoat is made of contrasting silk satin, and its edges are decorated with the same embroidery as the coat: ascending, flowering branches with chinoiserie flowers. Silver-plated metal sequins, fixed with silver bullion, form the stalks of the branches, and lanceolate glass stones form the individual leaves. An embroidered pearl trim edges the coat, waistcoat and, cuffs as well as pockets and pocket flaps. The coat is fully lined in cream-white silk and has a fashionable, high upright collar and a set of 23 velvet-covered, embroidered buttons. It closes with two buttonholes on the upper chest. The sleeves are placed high. The legs are slit on the sides and have button and latch closure. Such richly decorated suits were reserved for court receptions. With every movement, such suits reflected the ambient candlelight and granted their wearers a befittingly grand entrance into the highest society.


  • Title: Three-piece Men's Suit - Habit à la française
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1785 - 1790
  • Stylistic point of origin: France
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1998 Art trade, Paris, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Length: Coat: fl./bl. 104 cm, breeches: fl./bl. 70 cm, waistcoat: fl./bl. 67 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Suit
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Bottle-green silk velvet, ciselé, cream coloured silk satin, silver coloured metal thread, multi-coloured silk, satin stitch, nodule stitch, small circles on trim crafted on parchment, silver coloured metal sequins, bullion, lanceolate glass stones polished and faceted; buttons: wood, embroidered upper; lining: cream coloured, satin weave silk

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