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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:English (probably)
Title:waistcoat
Date Made:1725-1750
Type:Clothing
Materials:textile: plain weave bleached (white) linen; plain weave bleached (white) cotton; wire
Place Made:United Kingdom; England (probably)
Measurements:overall: 34 in.; 86.36 cm
Accession Number:  HD F.075
Credit Line:Gift of Helen Geier Flynt
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Description:
Man's sleeveless, whitework linen (identified by eye) waistcoat with two hip-level pocket flaps, linen lining, and a cotton back, which is quilted to shape with linen thread with intricately corded designs. Linda Eaton, Dircector of Collections and Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Musuem (May 14, 2011), identified the fashion fabric as probably English linen and noted that the waistcoat was very likely professionaly quilted, but not necessarily the highest quality of professional quilting; the highest would have had further embellishments such as French knots, etc. The front of the waistcoat closes with 14 wire and thread-work buttons, hidden under a placket in a construction feature known as a French closure. Made for a large man, the long length of the garment suggests a fabrication date during the second quarter of the 18th century. According to Lynne Bassett, teachers of fancy needlework skills in the early 18th century sometimes offered "French" quilting. As seen on this waistcoat, this technique was traditionally done in white and was most commonly used on clothing items. It combines intricately corded designs with stuffed work and embroidery. It was a specialty of Frence, which exported finished garments, bed quilts and yardage through the port of Marseilles, thus giving this type of quilting the name "marseilles." England and India also made a significant amount of marseilles-type quilting for export.

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