Most of the patterning on this glittering 1770s waistcoat has been fashioned during the weaving of the silk fabric. The fabric was known as a silver tissue, and incorporated an additional weft of silver thread woven in with the green silk warp and weft. This created the silver stripe and wavy silver border seen on the pocket and hem of the waistcoat. Additional colours in the weave produced the red and white flowers and green stems.

Once off the loom, further decoration was added to the fabric with embroidered red foils and silver spangles. Striped fabrics were very fashionable in both men and women’s dress in the 1770s, heralding the geometrical patterning characteristic of Neo-classicism. This waistcoat is clearly in a transitional period, incorporating the flowers and meandering lines of the waning Rococo style.


  • Title: Waistcoat
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1770/1779
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Given by the Earl of Gosford
  • Medium: Woven silk with silver thread, enamelling, silver purl & spangles, silk thread; hand-sewn and hand-embroidered

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