The most remarkable feature of this otherwise unadorned frock coat is its eccentrically coloured, fake leopard spot pattern. The imitation markings, woven with black and white silk, are part of the pile of a turquoise velvet. Such a whimsical pattern was common in men’s fashions in the 1770s and 1780s. A portrait of John Campbell, Baron of Cawdor painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, in 1778, shows a similar leopard spot pattern in a more natural colouring on a velvet waistcoat.

The collar pointed at the back is characteristic of 1780s style. Longer, tighter sleeves, two small revers (or lapels) at the front and a closer fitting silhouette are also typical of men’s fashion during this decade.


  • Title: Coat
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1785/1790
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 120 cm Overall length from top of collar to bottom of hem, :
  • Provenance: Given by Mrs R. M. Woods
  • Medium: Silk and linen, hand woven and hand sewn

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