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Silver-gilt buttons fasten this 1760s woman’s riding waistcoat of eye-catching bright pink silk. Each button has a wooden core. The indented edges form useful notches around which to secure strips of silver-gilt foil and thread. They complement an embroidered pattern of flowers worked in chain-stitched silver-gilt thread and spangles (or sequins).

The intense hue of this fabric may correspond to the colour, known as ‘pompadour’ – a deep reddish-pink made popular by Madame du Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. This particular shade can be seen in Sèvres porcelain of the 1750s and 1760s, and references to ‘pompadour’ coloured garments are found in literature and pattern books of the period.

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  • Title: Waistcoat
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1760/1769
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Provenance: Given by T. J. Edward
  • Medium: Silk and linen, hand woven and hand sewn, silver, gold, lined, wood, lace

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