Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Thomas O. Callender, 1948
Not on view
Waistcoats and vests of the 18th and 19th centuries served as a layer protection and ornamentation during a period in fashion when the coat was intended to be left open in the front. The color was often chosen to complement the suit and covered in imaginative embroideries, heavily woven patterns or shiny satins made to draw the eye. The style of the neck, the length and the hem treatment fluctuated as the tastes changed from over-sized coats of the early 18th century to narrow tightly fitted coats of the late 18th century and onward.
The vest of the 1820s and 30s prominently had shawl collars and patterned textiles. This vest is a beautiful example of that period and exemplifies the decorative quality required. The wool pile embroidery is unique and intriguingly muted next to the glossy velvet while the glass buttons are a distinctive vivid contrast.