18th Century Men’s Coats

See also linkspages on suits and waistcoats.

  • NT 1348787, c. 1720-1729: “Made of grey napped wool. Lined with old rose and blue wool (or wool/cotton). Pattern of small diamonds wef-faced. Interlining unbleached hessian. Open front with wide, straight trimmed lapels from neck to hem. Collarless. Seamed at hip (possibly an alteration). Wide back with centre seam and curved side seams. Skirt flared from hip seam. Edge-to-edge centre vent. Triple-pleated side vents - now open, at one time stitched into pleats. Wide set-in sleeves ending short of the wrist with very deep, loose round cuff. Tripped with narrow strips of purple silk velvet, stamped with zigzag design and edged with gold braid. All down both front lapels in groups of 3. 2 groups of 3 on front skirts, 3 x 3 each side centre vent. 3 x 3 on each cuff. Small domed, shaped brass buttons, 1 on each velvet strip centre-front, centre-back and cuffs. 3 on each strip on skirts (marked ? 'R White, New St' and 3 other marks). 2 hip buttons.”
  • LACMA 62.6.2, man’s coat, cut silk velvet, probably German, c. 1720-1730
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1967-129,1, a man’s suit coat, England, c. 1725-1750 (altered in the 19th/20th century); “Coat of beige, brown, and white cut and uncut silk velvet, patterned in small all-over design of leaf-forms with tendrils. Coat is collarless with long slightly-fitted waist and wide flared skirts with deeply pleated side-back vents. Narrow shoulder-line with sleeves becoming very large below the elbows and edged with wide cuffs 6½" deep. Deep scalloped pocket flaps. Eighteen buttons covered with silk twist extend from neck to hem and additional buttons decorate pockets and cuffs. Long buttonholes worked with twisted silk are sewn shut; coat closed at waistline with one hook and eye. Coat lined with twill-woven white silk, worn and repaired with gold silk Persian.”
  • NT 1140484.1, c. 1730: “Coat, which is part of a velvet suit, in small square design in vertical stripe in cream, red and black. The coat is fully lined with white silk satin, apart from the top section of the sleeve which is lined with the linen used as the lining on the breeches and waistcoat. The buttons are self covered. Made for Lionel Tollemache, 4th Earl of Dysart.”
  • PMA 1991-75-23, a man’s coat in silk damask, England, c. 1730-1745
  • Manchester Art Gallery 1954.1106 a man’s coat (possibly a 19th century copy), England, c. 1730-1750; “Fawn homespun woollen cloth; fronts each in one section, fastening from below waist to round neck with ten cloth covered double-dome buttons with buttonholes; pocket, fawn cotton, at hip each side, with slightly shaped flap, with slightly shaped flap, with imitation buttonhole and button each end; flared skirt; back in two sections, flared, open at centre below waist; double thickness in skirt back and front; pleats inserted in side seams of skirt, with button at top of pleating; long sleeves in two sections open at outer wrist almost to elbow, with very wide turnback cuff; top edge trimmed at outer arm with four imitation vertical buttonholes and buttons.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1996-805,1, man’s suit coat, c. 1730-1750; “Man’s coat from a suit that has been partially taken apart. Made of red silk uncut and voided velvet in pattern of diagonally crossing leaves, forming framework for white stylized flower heads. Coat is collarless with wide sweeping skirts and large deep cuffs on long sleeves. Buttonholes are worked completely down front, with buttons missing. Shaped pocket flaps; with no pockets surviving. Portions of cream linen innerfacing down fronts and on vent; silk twill pocket flap lining.”
  • NT 1402230, 1740: “Man's country coat. Grey-blue frock coat in napped wool tabby cloth, lined with black glazed twill woollen fabric, the sleeves lined with linen canvas. Black velvet collar. 10 death's head covered buttons worked in black silk to just below waist. Button holes very long and half stitched up. Side vents in skirt with 3 pleats and 3 buttons. Back vent with deep pleat. Very deep cuffs, stitched down to sleeve. Curved pocket holes, pocket lined with brown chevron twill, probably linen-wool. Two pocket flaps, the outer large and lined, the inner small, unlined and fastened with 1 button.”
  • V&A T.614:1-1996, a coat with pleated skirts and a tightly-fitted torso, in beige and white figured silk, lined with silk, buckram and wool, France, 1740-1749; good detail of the buttons, “made from a domed wooden core covered with beige silk thread and further adorned with tightly coiled silk cords”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1954-1056, man’s pink silk coat, England, c. 1740-1750; “Man's coat of pink silk with faint warp stripe, in white with two running vines which form diamonds centering a sprig. Fitted collarless coat with full skirts straight in front and pleated at at sides and back waist level. Front opening, with nineteen self-covered buttons and 11 buttonholes extending full length of front. Shaped sleeves ending in full 7-inch cuffs with 4 self-covered buttons as trim. Broad pointed pocket flaps cover functional pockets.”
  • NT 1348765.1, c. 1740-1755: “Male coat made from pink/green shot silk taffeta. Fully lined in cream silk. Unbleached linen interlining to front, pocket flaps and inside pocket. Front line curving away only slightly from chest. Shortened at waist to give waist seam. Overlapped back seam. Open side vents with stitched pleat either side and several other folds. Hip buttons. Deep scalloped pocket flap. 'V' shaped pocket opening. Narrow stand collar. Narrow fitted sleeves with close round cuff. Sleeve end at top of cuff. Cuff lies over lining only. Cuttoned from neck to just below waist. 9 domed wooden buttons, self-covered centre front, with wide buttonholes partly cut.”
  • LACMA M.57.35a, a man’s coat and waistcoat, “silk cut, uncut, and voided velvet (ciselé) with metallic-thread supplementary weft patterning,” France, c. 1750
  • LACMA M.79.245.3, a man’s frock coat, wool broadcloth, silver wrapped thread and sequin embroidery, England, c. 1750-1760
  • V&A T.329-1985, a coat in russet-coloured wool with silver-gilt buttons, lined with linen, Great Britain, 1750-1769
  • NT 1348796.1, 1760-1769: “Made of rose brown uncut silk velvet. Design of green flowers on ground of cream stems and stripes. Originally lined cream silk twill. Relined recently with cream polyester satin. Horsehair interlining to skirts. Front line curved very gently. Bound neck - no collar. Pockets with deep 'v' opening and deeply scalloped flap. Skirts flared at side seam. Wide back - becoming wider towards mid-line. Edge-to-edge centre vent with a fold to either side. Deeply pleated side vents. Evidence that the vent was caught together near the hem. Shaped sleeves with very deep round cuff. 2 wide false butonholes to either side of top of centre vent. Medium size-domed, self-covered buttons. 12 from neck to hip. 3 to trim each cuff. 3 as a trim below each pocket flap with 2 false buttonholes on the flap. 2 hip buttons. Buttons centre-front. Wide part-cut buttonholes.”
  • NT 1348761, c. 1760-1770: “Uncut and voided silk velvet coat with a design of a single flower and leaves on a zig-zag background in fawn, muscat green and black. Lined with cream twilled silk. Natural cream wool fabric in sleeves. Relined with cream and brown cottons and dark brown wool. Fastened with eleven self-covered buttons alterations to the cuffs. Cut to fit a generous figure. Knee length, curved front line. Back vent with side folds, side vents partly stitched with double pleat and hip buttons. two pockets with deep scalloped flap. Narrow stand up collar and wide curved sleeve with deep, round cuff.”
  • Manchester Art Gallery 1954.962, a man's suit, France, c. 1760-1780; “Pinkish mauve silk coat, waistcoat and breeches in alternating diagonal weave, figured with flowers in blue, white and indigo. Coat: lined cream twilled silk except back to waist, lined alpaca, and sleeves, lined white cotton front fastening with thirteen silk covered buttons and buttonholes (the lower two uncut) to 2ins from round neck with narrow band, tapering to front; hook and eye at neck; pocket, white linen, with shaped flap, each side at waist; four buttons below flap; skirt curving away slightly to sides in front; back in two sections; skirt flared and pleated at sides; open seam caught at hem and halfway up; button at top and bottom of seam, two more between; two centre back sections of skirt seamed at waist, centre back skirt seam open, pleat at side back seam; long sleeves in two sections, wrist lined cream twilled silk; turn-back cuff trimmed four buttons; pleat in lining at left front edge behind buttonholes.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1992-37,1, c. 1760-1780; “Coat to man's three-piece suit with waistcoat and breeches of silk cut and uncut voided velvet, woven with orange, yellow, green and black sprigs on yellowish-beige ground. Coat is collarless, opening down curved front with 10 one-inch silver and bullion buttons, cut buttonholes, and three hooks and eyes. Curved arms ending in 5" cuffs trimmed with 3 buttons each. Wide pocket flaps, each trimmed with 3 buttons sewn beneath, and covering deep functional pockets. Deep side pleats, (with missing material used for patches elsewhere on coat). Center back pleat topped with button. Narrow shoulders. Lining of cream satin; linen innerlining. Padding in chest.”
  • NT 1348767, c. 1765-1775: “Coat made from fabric of narrow silk stripes of uncut velvet and spot design. Pink and green on a cream ground. Back possibly lined fustian, with central panel of coarse unbleached linen. Front and skirts lined thick twilled silk. Linen pockets. Linen lining to collar and sleeves, also interlining to front. Lining patched at armholes and behind pockets. Cut with front line curving away from chest, originally closed with 3 buttons at waist. Narrow stand collar. waist seam at back only. Side seams under arm to give a broad back. Overlapped centre vent, side vents held at 2 points, loose folds either side. Deep pocket flaps very slightly scalloped; curved pocket openings. Fitted sleeve with close round cuffs stitched down. Trimmed with large buttons painted to imitate stone - 6 from neck to below waist (1 missing). 2 hip buttons. Fastened with 2 metal hooks and eyes at neck centre-front. 3 buttonholes at waist.”
  • Augusta 8.4826.365.47, gent’s red frock coat, England, 1765-1780; “Wool broadcloth, single breasted, narrow black silk velvet collar and cuffs, trimmed with gilt and sequin buttons and gold metallic needlework outlining each button and buttonhole, fitted long sleeves, embroidered and button trimmed side pocket flaps, center back vent and pleats trimmed with buttons, cream silk twill facings”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1953-59, red broadcloth man’s coat, New England, c. 1770; “Coat has two-piece single-layer collar applied and stitched down at neckline; collar width 1½ inches. Fronts curve back toward hem in gradual cutaway. Fronts and hems of cloth are cut edges, not turned under. Ten pale yellow corded buttonholes worked down left front are not cut open. Ten gilt bronze metal shank buttons stitched to right front (covered by red wool cloth during the period from 1954 to 2004). Button backs read 'H. Sandland/ Superfine'. Shaped pocket flaps cover functional pockets. Right pocket is linen; left pocket is chamois. Close-fitting two-piece sleeves are cut to curve over elbows. Sleeves end in unlined turn-back cuffs. Coat is flared with pleats at the hips. Red silk thread buttons top pleats and decorate inner pleats (covered with red cloth from 1954 to 2004). Back overlapped vent opening. Breast pocket on left front interior of coat. Pocket is linen; welt is yellow wool cloth. Coat fronts and skirts are lined with pale yellow twill glazed worsted (shalloon). Coat center back and sleeves are lined with plain-woven linen.”
  • NT 1348791, 1770: “Made of bronze green and blue stiped ribbed silk. Lining missing. Interlining of linen. Cream silk facing (or remains of lining). Front line curving away from chest. Pockets with curved opening and deep, scalloped flaps. Deep stand collar, now cut off. Taper back (pieced), edge-to-edge back vent. Deeply pleated side vents - now open, were once caught half-way down. Pieced, shaped sleeves with close, round cuffs. Borders embroidered with green and cream silk threads, metal threads, sequins, chenille, spangles and foil in a design of flowers and leaves. Large, flat buttons, embroidered to match. 8 centre front (decoration only). 3 on each pocket, 2 on each cuff (originally 3). 6 buttons in pocket. Hip buttons missing. No apparent fastenings. Deep dart has been taken right across both sides at chest. Now undone, showing how the embroidery has been protected. Collar has been cut down. Could have been made from woman's dress.”
  • NT 1348766, c. 1770-1779: “Voided silk velvet coat with a striped design of checks and diamonds in burgundy red, straw yellow and fawn. Lined with cream silk satin in main part. Unbleached linen in sleeves. Heavier linen interlining in collar - also as facings and pockets. Remains of an additional lining over the satin; twilled cotton in collar, unbleached linen inside left-hand front edge. Cut with the front line curving away from chest, closes edge-to-edge over chest. Deep stand collar. Side seams curve inwards to a narrow neck. Edge-to-edge back vent. Side vents with hip buttons close together, the openings stitched together at intervals to give triple pleats. Broad pockets with deep scalloped flaps and pointed openings. Fitted sleeves with deep, close, round cuffs. Embroidered with coloured silk and chenille thread in a wide band of lace design, worked over purple satin with sprays of flowers, leaves and buds. Large cuttons with matching embroidery. 9 from neck to below waist, with 3 buttonholes in centre, 2 hip buttons, 2 on each side vent opening, 3 false buttons on each pocket. Fastened with 3 heavy flat brass hooks and eyes, 1 at neck, 2 on chest.”
  • NT 1348793.1, c. 1770-1779: “Coat made of burgundy silk voided velvet. Stripes with small yellow spot. Lined with cream silk taffeta. Linen pockets. Interlined with sized canvas. Front line curving away from chest; fronts pieced at neck. Deep stand collar. Pockets with deep scalloped flaps. Tapering back with mid-line at waist level. Tackover centre vent. Double folded side vents stitched closed at intervals including at hem. Set in, shaped sleeve with sewn down cuff. Borders embroidered with cream untwisted silk and past 'jewels' in satin, stem and knots. Design of flowers and leaves. Large flat buttons, embroidered to match. 10 centre front to mid-line. 3 false on each pocket. 3 false on each cuff. Hip buttons. One cut buttonhole on chest. Bent wire hook and eye for edge-to-edge fastening.”
  • NT 1348798, c. 1770-1779: “Made from voided silk velvet. Burgundy with narrow yellow stripe. Relined with cream silk. Remains of original cream satin inside pocket flaps. Linen pockets. Interlined sized canvas. Front line slightly curved away from chest. Medium stepped stand collar. Wide pockets with shallow 'v' opening and deep scalloped flaps. Tapering back. Edge-to-edge centre vent. Triple-folded side vents held together at intervals. Shaped, set-in sleeves with deep, close round cuffs. Borders embroidered with design of flowers and leaves in cream, yellow, green and blue silk thread. Satin and long and short stitch worked over a glued gauze foundation. Circles of cream satin stitch worked over cardboard. Large flat self-covered and embroidered buttons. 7 from neck to mid-line. 2 on each cuff as trim. 3 below each pocket flap as trim. 2 hip buttons. 3 buttonholes on chest - at one time cut.”
  • NT 1349412, c. 1770-1780: “Coat made from brown napped wool fully lined with brown silk. The sleeves are lined with pink cotton twill with glazed areas giving a design of stripes with cone shapes. It is interlined with 2 weights of unbleached linen. There are traces of fawn silk twill lining in the collar. The borders are embroidered with multicoloured silk floss and chenille thread in a design of flowers and leaves. It fastens with flat self covered and embroidered buttons.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1979-83, blue broadcloth frock coat with metallic trim, England, c. 1770-1780; “Man's frock coat of blue broadcloth (fulled, napped and shorn wool), trimmed with 7/8" wide gold metallic 'lace' overlaid with metal bullion and sequins. Coat has small, turn-down collar and slightly-curved fronts, buttoned with gilded buttons stamped in a 'basket" pattern over four-hole, rounded ivory shanks. Tight sleeves, curved over elbows, ending in cuffs trimmed with double row of metallic lace and three buttons. Shaped pocket flaps outlined with metallic lace and trimmed with buttons beneath the flaps; pocket has inner pocket flap under the outer flap, buttoned with a twill worsted-covered button. Pleats at side rear and center back vent, trimmed with metallic lace and buttons. Body lining of twill worsted 'shalloon'; sleeve lining and pockets of twill linen. An interior pocket is reached from the left side at front. A pleat or flap in the lining covers the ends of the long buttonholes. Hems of the cloth are raw edges, not turned under or bound.”
  • Manchester Art Gallery 1951.56, England, c. 1770-1780; “Very dark green facecloth coat with coloured embroidery in satin stitch in a leaf and flower design down fronts and at pockets, cuffs and vent. Back cut in 2 sections with a CB seam; standing collar; fronts fastening with 3 hooks and eyes; skirt with pleats CB and vent; sleeves with turn back cuffs; deep flapped pockets; 3 button holes and 10 embroidered buttons CF with 3 further buttons at pockets and cuffs and 1 at each side CB. Lined cream silk with much later repairing.”
  • V&A T.291&A-1971Coat of embroidered pink ribbed silk, France or Italy, c. 1770-1780
  • MFA 43.1668a, a coat from a man’s suit, France, c. 1770-1780; “violet cut and uncut, pale blue voided velvet in design of narrow bands throughout, embroidered with polychrome silk yarns in floral motif at front line, vents, collar, cuffs, pockets and flaps, buttons; stand-up collar, round cuffs with three buttons, padded upper chest, white silk satin lining.”
  • NT 1348771.1, c. 1770-1780: “Coat made from Cambridge blue voided silk velvet, cut and uncut. Design of velvet stripes alternating with stripes of pink spots. Selvedge striped red/cream. All pieces matching. Main part lined with matching blue silk satin. Back linen, sleeves and pockets lined with green/yellow worsted wool. Pocket flaps interlined with dark brown glazed wool (camlet). Cut with open front line, curving away. Stand collar 2 in/5 cm deep. Pockets with straight opening beneath deep scalloped flaps. Narrowing back with 'tackover' centre vent, triple pleated side vents. Narrow, shaped sleeves with narrow close round cuff. Large, flat self-covered buttons. 11 centre front from neck with hip with uncut buttonholes. 2 on each cuff, 3 below each pocket flap, 3 on back (including 1 on centre vent).”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1954-1059, greenish-gold silk coat, England, c. 1770-1785; “silk woven in small chevron design. Very small band collar. Front opening 9 replaced buttons; 5 false and 5 cut buttonholes. Coat skirts shaped away slightly in front with fan pleats on hips. Shaped pocket flaps cover 2 functional pockets. Sleeves shaped to curve over elbows, ending in 3½" cuffs, each set with 2 buttons. Back and sleeves lined with natural cotton and linen. Skirts lined with original white silk”
  • NT 1348792.1, 1775: “Made of green/black shot silk. Selvedge striped pink/cream. Lined with glazed cotton twill. Faced cream silk. Twill silk inside pockets. Front line curves away from chest. Stand collar of medium height. Wide pockets with deep, scalloped flaps. Tapering back. Tackover centre vent. Double-folded side 'vent' with no opening. Narrow, shaped sleeves with close, round cuff. Borders embroidered with multicoloured twisted silk thread in a design of flowers and leaves - bordered with a fine couched cord. Large, flat buttons, embroidered to match. 8 centre front, 3 at each pocket, 3 on each cuff, 2 hip buttons. 4 buttonholes on chest.”
  • NT 1348774, c. 1775-1785: “Coat made of purple brown ribbed silk (grosgrain). Lined with cream satin. Sleeves and pockets lined in linen. Interlining of heavy linen. Embrodiery back in fine unbleached linen. Edge to edge front line, curving back from chest. Stand collar 2 in/5 cm deep. Wide pockets with curved opening and deep scalloped flap. Narrow, tapering back. Edge to edge centre vent, with deep side pleats. Triple pleated side vents held at intervals. Narrow fitted sleeves with close round cuffs. Trimmed with embrodiered borders of lowers and leaves in colour silk and chenille. Outline of stripes and zigzag in cream and purple chenille. Large flat embroidered buttons, 9 centre front (no butonholes). 3 on each cuff. 3 below pocket flaps. 2 hip buttons, 2 on each side vent. Fastened with steel wire hooks and eyes at neck and chest.”
  • NT 1349102, c. 1770-1800: “in sable woollen fabric with silk-satin-weave stripes. Lining - Cream silk throughout. Linen pockets. Interlined with two weights of linen canvas. Cut - Front line curves back. Deep stand collar now cut down. Pockets with curved opening and deep, scalloped flap. Wide back. Edge-to-edge centre vent. Pleated side vents held together at intervals (originally). Set-in, fitted sleeves with deep close round cuffs. Trimmings - Border design of flowers, leaves and grasses, worked in satin, long and short seeding stitches; cream, yellow, green, and blue with touches of orange. Also sequins. Worked over black fabric, possibly horsehair. Medium sized embroidered buttons to match coat - 6 from neck to mid-line. 2 on each cuff, 3 on each pocket. Hip buttons and 2 more on each side vent (2 missing). Fastenings - All buttons are flase, large wire hook and eye for each edge closure to waist.”
  • NT 1348770, c. 1760-1770: “Coat made from cream ribbed silk (grosgrain). Selvedge striped green/pale cream. Fully lined with cream silk satin with selvedge striped purple/yellow. Back lined with natural glazed wool. Sleeves lined with fustian. Lining to left hand side replaced with beirge satin. Edge-to-edge front line, gently slanting back from chester. Narrow stand collar. Wide, slanting pocket flaps, straight pocket opening. Narrow back. Edge to edge centre vent, seamed at waist between 2 deep pleats. Side vents with triple, held at intervals. Shaped sleeve with round cuff. Flat, self-covered buttons. 9 centre front from below neck to hip, 4 below each pocket flap, 2 on each cuff, 2 hip buttons, 3 on each side vent. Fastened with 2 small bent wire hooks centre front neck at chest. No eyes.”
  • NT 1348775.1, c. 1760-1770: “Coat made of shell pink ribbed silk. Lining mainly of cream silk twill. Back, sleeves and pockets lined with fustian. Front edges interlined stiff linen. Stop of backshirts interlined stiffened hessians, the lining stuck to the interlining. Front line buttoned, curving away from chest. Narrow standing collar. Pockets with curved opening and scalloped flaps. Wide back. Edge to edge centre vent, seamed between 2 deep pleats. Triple pleated side vents, held in 2 places. Narrow, shaped sleeves with slanted close round cuffs. Flat wooden, self-covered buttons. 10 centre front from neck to hip with buttonholes each partly cut. 3 on cuff, 3 false buttons on each pocket. 2 hip buttons, 2 on each side vent. Bent steel wire hook and eye at neck.”
  • NT 1348779, c. 1760-1770: “Made of fawn ribbed silk with broad rib alternating zigzag rib. Lined with cream silk twill., Pocket and sleeve lined with linen. Interlining of unbleached linen. Fron line curves away. Medium stand collar. Pockets with curved openings and scalloped flaps. Narrow back, edge to edge back vent with side folds. Double pleated side 'vents' closed all down. Fitted sleeve with small curved cuff, slightly winged. Self covered buttons. 9 from neck to mid line. 3 false on each pocket. 2 hip butons and 2 on each vent. Front buttonholes all cut with a flap of lining covering the backs to half the width. Bent steel wire hook and eye at neck and chest for edge to edge closure.”
  • NT 1348764, c. 1765-1775: “Male coat made of pink/green shot silk taffeta. Partly lined unbleached cotton. Open front, curving gently away from neck. No waist seam. Overlapped back vent. Side vent only partly open, with flap, the rest closed with a run and fell seam. Unbleached canvas pocket attached inside right-hand opening. Narrow stand collar. Shaped sleeve with close round cuff. Cuttons later additions. Large buttons covered with green embossed metal foil decorated with purl and paste jewels; 5 centre front, 3 on each cuff, 2 at hips, all false.”
  • NT 1348768, c. 1765-1775: “Coat made from coral pink napped wool. Skirts lined with copper brown cotton sateen. Body lined with faded pink glazed wool. Sleeves lined with unbleached fustian. Collar backed camel-coloured napped wool. Shoulders padded with cotton wool. Double-breasted cut, curving away from the chest. Rolling cape collar. Poachers pocket on left side. Narrow back. Overlapped back vent. Side vents joined at intervals, triple-pleated. Shaped sleeves with cuffs a la mariniere. Fastened with cut steel buttons; 10 pairs front from below neck to hipline, only 7 buttonholes cut. 2 hip buttons, another on each side vent, 3 on each cuff. Small steel wire hook and eye at neck, another at 4th button. A country coat.”
  • NT 1348763, c. 1765-1780: “Coat made of shot light green silk. Lined with white cotton twill. Front line curves gently away from neck. Narrow stand collar. Seamed at waist, overlapped back vent. Side vents with double pleat, held at hem with button. 2 pockets with deep scalloped flaps. Shaped sleeve with round cuff. Hanging loop at neck. Buttons slightly domed, self covered. 9 one front opening with long buttonholes partly cut. 2 hip buttons, and 2 at hem of side vents. Possibly Quaker.”
  • NT 1348783.1, c. 1770-1779; “Made of cream ribbed, warp-faced. Silk warp over thicker woollen weft. Lined with cream silk twill. Sleeves and interlinings loose linen. Pockets lined with twilled wool. Edge-to-edge closure, the front line curving away from below waist. 1 cm collar band. Pockets with 'v' opening and curved scalloped flaps. Wide tapering back. Centre vent with tackover. Triple-pleated side vents, the opening attached mid-way and at hem. Narrow fitted sleeves with small close, round cuff. Cotton hanging tape. Trimmed with silver thread braids. Frogging and tassels both sides of centre-front opening and on cuffs and pocket flaps. Buttons self covered wooden buttons with a tamboured star design in silver thread and sequins. 9 centre front, grouped from neck 2, 3 and 4. 3 on each cuff, 3 below each pocket flap (match those on waistcoat). 2 hip buttons, 2 more on each side ventre. All buttons sham. Bent steel wire hook and eye centre front.”
  • NT 1348778.1, c. 1770-1779: “Made of plain pink-beige ribbed silk. Selvedge striped green/cream. Lined with cream silk twill. Back lined bleached linen. Inerlined with linen, pockets with sized linen. Fragments of purple silk twill inside left-hand edge. Shoulds possibly padded with linen wadding. Front line curves away. Medium stand collar. Pockets with curved opening and rep scalloped flaps. Narrow, tapered back. Tackover centre flap. Triple pleated side vents, held together at intervals. Medium size self-covered buttons. 10 from neck to hip, 3 on each pocket and cuff. 2 hip buttons and 11 on each side ventre hem. Bent steel wire hook and eye centre front at chest. Only 4 buttonholes cut.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1960-695, man’s tan frock coat, England, c. 1770-1785; “Frock coat of tan (faded from pink-mauve) silk and worsted tabby (possibly called camlet). Coat has high, turn down collar edged with top stitching, and front slightly cut away, buttoned with 11 domed metal buttons; all of the corded buttonholes are cut open and functional. Single hook and eye (not original) stitched to chest 10" down from collar. Sleeves are tight and cut to curve over the elbow, ending in buttoned stitched-down 4" cuffs, closing with two functional buttons and cut-open buttonholes. Two cotton pockets covered by shaped pocket flaps. Back of collar comes to a point at center back. Center back seam opens into a vent from just below waist, flanked on either side by deep pleats trimmed with buttons (8). Coat lined with self fabric except sleeves and center back panel, which are tabby cotton.”
  • V&A CIRC.110-1963, a blue wool frock coat trimmed in silver braid, made in England or France, c. 1775-1780
  • V&A T.363-1995, a coat of salmon-pink ribbed silk, trimmed with silk and silver ribbon and passementerie buttons, Britain, c. 1775-1780; “The point in the centre back of the collar first appeared in menís dress in the late 1770s. The pale colour and simple decoration of this coat are a new development in fashion, in contrast to the rich palette and ornate embroidery of the 1750s and 1760s. An ivory and yellow striped grosgrain forms the ground of the ribbon, embellished with additional threads of silver strip and thread. This narrow trim edges the collar, cuffs, pleats and front of the coat. At the back pleat, it has been expertly mitred to reinforce the top of the pleat and to form a decorative ground for the button. Interwoven threads of pink silk, silver-gilt filé (textured thread) and silver strip form the base of the button, with silver spangles (sequins) sewn on top.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1983-228 beige broadcloth frock coat, England, c. 1775-1785; “with turn-down collar or 'cape' and button front. Front has 8 (of 9 originally) buttons of silver fused to copper (also called Sheffield plate). Buttonholes all cut open. Deep turn-down collar coming to point at center back; shaped cut-away front; untrimmed pocket flaps. Closely-fitting shaped sleeves terminating in turnback cuffs 3¼" wide. Back vent and pleats, each pleat trimmed with 2 buttons. Sleeves are lined with white linen-cotton fustian; fronts, center back tail, and pocket flaps are lined with ribbed silk; center back down to hem of pleats lined with twill glazed worsted. Buttonholes have flap of lining sewn over ends on interior. Hooks and eyes at center front in addition to buttons.”
  • MFA 43.675a, frock coat with breeches, possibly France, c. 1775-1800; “Brown-gray ribbed silk. Frock: turndown squared collar; 11 covered buttons at front line; round cuffs; rectangular pocket flaps over 3 buttons; pleated side vents with 3 buttons; tackover at center vent; white silk front and skirt and linen back and sleeve linings.”
  • Vintage Textile 1819, a gentleman’s silk top coat “fashioned from cocoa brown silk taffeta, woven with tiny ivory polka dots … lined with ivory silk except for the center back panel, which is linen,” late 18th century; “The coat retains the large self-covered buttons, fold down collar, and wide cuffs of earlier coats. The buttons on the topcoat are decorative only; the coat closes in front with hidden hooks. The sleeves of the topcoat are cut with a curve to accommodate the elbow.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1964-174,A, Isle of Wight Co., Virginia, c. 1780; “Frock coat of homespun cotton spun with with blue and brown wool. Turn-down collar. Coat cut slim with curving cutaway, with eight buttons at front (one missing) and nine buttonholes with only the second from the top cut through. Two deep side pockets with plain flaps. Sleeves cut to curve over elbows with open vent cuffs, no buttons. Coat's long, almost straight skirt is deeply vented and pleated at center back, with button trim. Textile is homespun cotton warp in natural color with natural cotton wefts spun with blue and wool brown noils, woven in tabby or plain weave.”
  • NT 1348789.1, c. 1780-1789: “Made of old gold shot silk, selvedge striped pink and blue. Front, skirts and sleeves lined with cream silk. Back lined with linen. Pockets fine linen. Interlining hessian. Shoulders padded linen fibre wadding. Front edges of linen interlining are bound roughly with blue shot silk of similar quality to coat fabric. Front line curving well back from the chest. Narrow stand collar. Wide pockets with curved opening and deep, scalloped flap. Tapered back. Tackover centre vent. Triple-pleated side vents, the opening held together with places. Shaped sleeve with small, round, close cuff. Cut steel buttons. 10 centre front (2 missing) from below neck to hip. 3 on each cuff. 2 hip buttons. Fastened with 3 buttonholes on chest”
  • NT 1348781.1, c. 1775-1785: “Made of black uncut silk velvet. Lined with pale yellow silk. Interlining of unbleached linen. Cut with front line curving away leaving narrow front skirts. Stand collar of medium depth. Pockets with curved opening and deep scallaoped flaps. Narrow back. Tackover centre vent. Open side vents with pleat to either side - evidence of side vents having been buttoned or attached at least at the hem. Fitted sleeves with round, close cuff. Flat, self-covered buttons. 10 from neck to midline. 3 beneath each pocket flap. 3 with flase buttonholes on each cuff. No buttonholes centre-front. One steel wire hook and eye below neck for edge-to-edge closure. Alterations; stitch line around waist on velvet. Also on part of lining to match.”
  • MFA 43.658a, a coat from a man’s suit, France or England, c. 1775-1790; “Orange uncut figured velvet. Coat: short stand-up collar with lace ruffle, round cuffs, buttons covered with silver and gilt-silver wire, sequins, red colored decorations and gilt-silver textured foil, white silk lining.”
  • MFA 55.452a, America, c. 1775-1780; “high roll back collar, self-covered buttons, sleeves with turned back cuffs, pockets with flaps, full pleated skirt, made of four panels, skirt open in middle of back, other two slits fastened with buttons; middle of back and sleeves lined with linen, fronts and skirt lined with brown lutestring”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1991-451, striped wool frock coat, England (possibly worn in America), c. 1775-1790; “Man's frock coat of striped and napped wool, alternating cream with gold and plied blue-grey and cream colors, giving tie-dye effect. Coat has turned down collar. Front button opening has 10 mother-of-pearl buttons, each trimmed with sequins and red paste stones. Ten worked buttonholes are cut open. There is also one hook and eye at center-front chest for alternate closure. Sleeves are cut close to arm and curve over elbows, with cuffs missing. Shaped pocket flaps cover linen pockets. Back has center vent to just below waist and pleats at either side, each pleat trimmed with one button at top and one at bottom. Fronts, edges of back tails, and pocket flaps lined with golden brown silk twill. Sleeve linings of white tabby linen. Interlining down front edges of coarse bast fiber tabby fabric. Upper back portions of back skirt unlined”
  • Augusta 8.4823.163.251, gent’s embroidered formal coat, 1775-1800; “Brown uncut voided velvet in checked pattern, embroidered with silk multi colored brush-like flowers, standing band collar, trimmed with twenty six large embroidered buttons, shaped pocket flaps, long fitted sleeves ending in 3.25" embroidered cuff, upper body padded with cotton batting, cream silk satin lining”
  • NT 1348795, 1780: “Made of indigo blue wool cloth, striped with cream and light blue twill. Lined with cream silk, sleeves lined with cotton. Interlining woven hessian and linen. Front line curving away from chest. Medium step stand collar. Pockets with v-shaped opening and small, scalloped flap. Edge-to-edge back vent, narrow pleated side vents. Shaped sleeves with deep, round cuffs. Embroidered with a border design of flowers and leaves worked in fawn, brown and pink silks in satin, stem and knot stitches. Edging of satin stitched over cardboard strip. Large, moulded silver-plated copper on bone base buttons, 10 from neck to hip. Hip buttons. 2 buttonholes on chest.”
  • BATMC II.06.49, man’s long brown jacket, wool and metal, c. 1780-1789
  • NT 1349411, c. 1780-1790: “Coat made from black silk grosgrain with a black silk twill silk lining - it has been relined over original black silk twill. It is interlined with black canvas. The collar is interlined with sized canvas and the cuffs with linen. It fastens with flat self covered buttons. Possibly ecclesiastic or marriage.”
  • NT 1348759, c. 1780-1790: “Khaki coloured silk voided velvet, brocaded with overall tiny sprigged design and a border of flower sprays woven en disposition in red and green. The ground was originally pink. Lined with unbleached cotton and cream silk. The coat is knee length, close fitting. The front line slants back and the side seams curve towards the back. There is a back vent with side folds and side vents with two pleats and hip buttons. There is a deep stand up collar. The sleeves are narrow and curved with a round cuff and there are two pockets with deep scalloped flaps. The coat has ten self covered buttons, no buttonholes and fastened with three sets of hooks and eyes. There are two buttons below each pocket flap.”
  • LACMA M.59.24.20a, a coat from a man’s two-piece suit, cut and uncut silk velvet, England, c. 1780-1790
  • NT 1348784, 1780-1790: “Made of Beryl blue machine knitted wool. Lined with cream silk twill of two different weights. Back and sleeves bleached linen. Interlining - unbleached linen. Chest padded with several layers of glazed wool - pink and red. Front line curves away from chest. Very deep stand collar. Pockets with curved opening and deep, slightly scalloped flaps. Narrow tapering back. Centre vent with tackover. Triple-pleated side 'vents' - no opening. Narrow shaped sleeve with close, round cuff. Trimmed with pale blue silk cord - woven into braid for frogging and fringes. 18 rows of frogging to either side of centre-front. 2 on each cuff, 3 on each pocket flap. Braid and fringe behind hip buttons. Large flat matching silk basket buttons. 8 centre-front, 2 on cuffs, 3 on pockets. Hip buttons. Also 1 at hem on each side vent. 2 cut buttonholes on chest. One set steel hook and eye also on chest for edge-to-edge closure.”
  • MFA 43.674a, coat from a man’s suit, France, c. 1785-1790; “Purple/yellow iridescent silk taffeta. Frock: stand-fall collar (tacked at front); 9 covered buttons at front line; round cuffs; rectangular pocket flaps over 3 buttons; pleated side vents with 2 buttons; tackover at center vent; white silk front and skirt and brown linen back and sleeve linings.”
  • V&A T.17-1950, a man’s coat in turquoise silk velvet with a woven “leopard spot” pattern, France, 1785-1790; “The collar pointed at the back is characteristic of 1780s style. Longer, tighter sleeves, two small revers (or lapels) at the front and a closer fitting silhouette are also typical of men’s fashion during this decade.”
  • Historic New England 1935.370A, a coat from a formal suit: “Brown/gold wool; plain; turnover collar, no revers; ten closed long buttonholes; large copper engraved buttons; two at cuffs; and at back flaps; cut away; green trim at button holes; single breasted,” 1790
  • NT 609811.1, c. 1780: “Hand sewn silk coat to a suit, woven with dark purple. Blue and ivory vertical stripe. Standup collar, skirt cut sloping to three vents and pleats at back, two hip pockets flapped.”
  • NT 1348773, c. 1780-1800: “Coat made of cypress green and yellow voided silk vent striped with cream. Lined with cream silk satin, linen pockets. Front line curving far back to narrow skirts. Deep stand collar (3.5 in/9 cm). Wide pockets with curved opening and deep scalloped flaps. Side seams set well back, curving to give a narrow tapering back. Wide tack over centre vent. Side vents with false pleats stitched all the way down. Shaped sleeve with close round cuff. Large, flat, self covered buttons. 13 centre front from neck to below waist. 13 buttonholes, only 5 cut. 3 buttons on each cuff (1 missing). 2 hip buttons.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1983-232, frock coat, pink and green striped silk, France, c. 1790; “Man's frock coat of green ribbed tabby silk, striped with variegated narrow pink satin stripes. High, turn-down collar; front opening with ten self-fabric covered buttons 1 3/8" in diameter, with two of the buttonholes cut open. Front curved sharply away from chest. Broad shaped pocket flaps. Close fitting sleeves, cut to curve over elbows, end in sewn-down band and vertical placket buttoned with 5 small buttons. Coat back has center back vent and pleats ending in a button where pleat joins pocket flap. Fronts and skirt lined with the primary fabric; sleeves and upper back lined with napped cotton and linen "fustian"; other linings include several brown linens. Under collar lined with blue striped cotton and linen. Shoulders padded with red twill wool innerlining; other innerlining of cream color ribbed silk.”
  • NT 1348788, 1790: “Made of black silk velvet. Original lining of cream satin. Relined cream sateen. Sleeves lined cotton/linen mix (fustian). Pockets bleached linen. Interlining sized coarse linen. Front line curved well back leaving no front skirts. Deep stand collar. Pockets with deep, scalloped flaps. Side seams set well back. No waist seam. Tackover centre vent (now stitched up). Side vents with 2 narrow pleats (now stitched up). Narrow, fitting sleeves with high shoulder. Some fullness at head. Close, round cuff. 9 buttonholes from neck to waist. Small, self-covered buttons, 9 centre front, 3 on each cuff and below each pocket flap. 2 hip buttons, 2 more of each side vent (1 missing). 4 buttonholes on chest cut. 2 sets of hooks and eyes for edge-to-edge closure.”
  • Kyoto AC5146 85-28-2AC, France, c. 1790; “Coat of blue and green striped silk taffeta and satin; fold-back standing collar; cut-away front hem”
  • LACMA M.2007.211.802, a man’s tailcoat, striped silk satin, France, c. 1790-1795; see also pattern
  • NT 1348794, 1790: “Made of cream silk tabby. Lined with cream silk in body. Sleeves lined linen. Interlining sized canvas - 2 layers of different grades stuck together. Whole body stiffened. Front line sharply curved at chest, cut away leaving no front skirts. Seam all round at waist. Medium stand collar. False, scalloped pocket flaps from waist seam. Tapered back. Edge-to-edge centre vent. Pleated false side vents. Shaped sleeve with stitched down cuff. Large domed, wooden, self-covered buttons, 4 from neck to chest. 3 false below each pocket flap. 3 on each cuff. 2 hip buttons. 1 buttonhole on chest. Appears to have been made from another garment.”
  • LACMA M.82.80.3, a man’s dress coat in brocaded silk damask, England or France, c. 1790-1800
  • NT 1348799.1, c. 1790-1800: “Made from brocaded velvet. Yellow-green ground, black pile, pale peach spots. Stiff. Lined with cream silk satin, green/pink striped selvedge. Fustian pockets. Front line curved well back leaving no front skirts. Very deep stand collar. Wide pocket with curved opening and deep scalloped flap. Narrow back, sloping shoulder seams. Tackover centre-vent. Double pleated side vents, held together at intervals. Shaped sleeves with slight fullness at head. Deep, close round cuff. Small, self-covered buttons, 9 from neck to mid-line (1 missing) 3 false on each cuff (1 missing). 3 false on each pocket. 2 hip buttons. (2 loose buttons in pockets). 2 cut buttonholes at chest.”
  • NT 1349101, c. 1790-1800: “purple cut velvet, brocaded with yellow ground. Lining - Cream silk tabby. Back sleeves and pockets white linen. Cut - Front line curved away from chest leaving no front skirts. High stand collar. Pockets with straight opening and deep scalloped flap. Back-sloping shoulder seams. Narrow back. Tack-over centre vent. Pleated side vents, held together at intervals. Fitted sleeve with slight easing at head; small open cuffs with flap covering buttonholes. Trimmings - Large, self covered buttons. 10 neck to midline. 2 on each cuff. 2 hip buttons. 1 at each side vent hems. Fastenings - 2 buttonholes on chest. Cuffs buttoned.”
  • V&A T.281-1991, a man’s grey wool frock coat with silk thread covered buttons, made in England c. 1790
  • LACMA M.61.13, man’s dress coat in silk taffeta, Boston, Massachusetts, c. 1795-1800
  • Christie’s Lot 302 / Sale 5422, a gentleman’s frock coat of fine changeable blue/purple silk, embroidered in pastels, late 18th century
  • Christie’s Lot 7 / Sale 5572, a gentleman’s dress coat, a gentleman’s dress coat of forest green silk velvet, embroidered in silks with wild flowers, the high collar, deep cuffs and pockets similarly worked, trimmed with large decorative embroidered buttons, probably French, late 18th century
  • MFA 02.6, America, late 18th century

Some dress coats from court suits

Since these don't necessarily follow contemporary fashion (especially towards the end of the 18th century) I’m putting several in a separate category.

  • NT 1171334.1: “Deep purple silk velvet, with coloured silk embroidery in realistic floral pattern of roses and narcissi. Probably made up in the 1770s and altered in the next decade.”
  • NT 1349760, c. 1775-1800: “Made from beetroot silk velvet with a design of sequins and cuffs of cream silk ribbed with siver. It is lined with cream silk satin. The chest and shoulders are padded with cotton wadding and stiffenings of heavy unbleached canvas. The coat is richly embroidered with silver threads and sequins in a design of palm trees and foliage. It fastens with large flat buttons covered with silver foil, silver threads and paste jewels, 7 centre front and 2 copies on each cuff. Possibly Indian.”
  • MFA 43.644a, France, c. 1785-1792; “black silk velvet figured with silk gold yarns embroidered with gilt-silver wires, sequins, bits of glass in vegetative motif at front line, vents, collar, cuffs, pockets and flaps, buttons; stand-up collar, round cuffs with three buttons, lace ruffles, padded upper chest and back, white silk lining with pocket, leather armhole lining.”
  • LACMA 54.93, a man’s dress-coat for court; uncut silk velvet and silk satin with silk, metallic foil-wrapped thread and sequin embroidery; France, c. 1790-1800
  • LACMA M.73.33.2, silk velvet with silk, faceted stone, and sequin embroidery; France, c. 1790-1800
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1971-433, an embroidered blue velvet coat, France, c. 1790-1820
  • Christie’s Lot 3343 / Sale 4981, a gentleman’s court frock coat, uncut ribbed velvet, finely embroidered in coloured silks to lapels and pockets, late 18th or early 19th century