The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This midnight blue velvet jacket with fitted sleeves, a tightly nipped in waist, and a long pointed front and back is typical of the late 1870s to early 1880s style. The jacket has been cut out and made up and the hand-embroidered design of birds and moths applied after construction. Floss stitch has been used to work the embroidery in long and short stitches and satin stitch; this was probably domestic work carried out at home rather than the work of a professional seamstress.

In the nineteenth century there was a strong interest in the natural world and explorers made frequent expeditions to record new discoveries of nature. The birds and insects that decorate this jacket are rather fanciful and stylised, indicating that they may have been taken from an illustrative rather than naturalistic source.

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  • Title: Jacket
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1875/1885
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Provenance: Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.
  • Medium: Silk velvet, embroidered in long and short stitch, and satin stitch in coloured silks, boned with baleen

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