This collarless waistcoat with its à disposition woven decoration demonstrates the artistry of the French silk industry. The course of the arching guided edges, the measurements of the future owner and all other components of this piece — even the pocket flaps — had to be taken into consideration before the weaving process began. This remarkable pattern includes flower stems and coloured silk and leaves made of flattened silver wire that are held by a ribbon, also woven from flattened silver wire. A matching variation of the pattern appears on the pocket flaps. The frontal portions depict additional flower motifs offset in rows upon a cream-coloured, tone in tone patterned background. The waistcoat is fitted with 16 metal-braided buttons, the corresponding buttonholes were added afterwards. To this end a thread was introduced across the edge pattern for each buttonhole, then braided with a flattened metal wire and affixed with stitches. The back and the sleeves — with the exception of the cuffs — are processed from rough cotton. The rear tails are covered with cream-coloured silk and the waistcoat is entirely lined in cream-coloured silk twill. Although weaving waistcoats à dispositon was laborious, it offered the advantage of serial production. It had to be ensured, however, that future wearers lived far enough as under, as it was otherwise inevitable that the identical waistcoats would meet.

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  • Title: Men's Waistcoat
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: ca. 1760
  • 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
  • Length: Fl./bl. 89 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Provenance: Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1984 Auction house, London
  • Type: Waistcoat
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Ribbed cream coloured silk, brocaded with coloured silk thread and silver coloured metal filament, smooth and frisé wrapped silk core, natural coloured linen and plain weave cotton; lining: cream coloured silk, twill weave