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Man's Fancy Dress Ensemble in Eighteenth-Century Style: Coat, Breeches, and Waistcoat

Artist/maker unknown, American?

Probably made in United States, North and Central America

Late 19th century

Coat and breeches: fuchsia silk satin, metal-wrapped silk braid, couched metal-wrapped cotton cording; metallic sequins, glass buttons. Waistcoat: off-white silk satin with blue silk and gold thread complex weave ribbon, metallic trim, mirror and glass buttons

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the heirs of Charlotte Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery, 1996

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At fancy dress balls in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, well-to-do men and women donned costumes that were exotic, inventive, or historical. Eighteenth-century fashions were especially popular since they flattered women and let men revive their abandoned sumptuousness. This costume, worn with a powdered wig and silk stockings by a member of a famous Main Line Philadelphia family, is embellished with gold trim and glass buttons that set off the satin's intense magenta, a color made possible with the development of synthetic dyes in the 1860s.

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