Sunday, 31 May 2015

1730s Gentleman's Waistcoat Panel with Dorset Buttons!!

My fascination with Dorset buttons means that I am always looking for Dorsets on different types of clothing. A couple of weeks ago I squealed with delight to find this item on ebay:-

c.1730s Linen Gentleman's Waistcoat

It is a gentleman's eighteenth century linen waistcoat, (or at least a panel of the waistcoat), with 11 Dorset thread buttons, Blandford Cartwheel style.

Now so far I have seen these buttons on the following nineteenth century items :-

Christening robes
Nightgowns (at the wrists)
Chemisettes and Cuffs
1830s Lady's Bust Bodice (under garment)
1830s Man's shirt
1820s/30s Woman's Wrapper/Peignoir

Blandford Cartwheel Dorset Buttons on 1730s Waistcoat

So this was very exciting for me. Looking at the style of waistcoat, with its incredible drawn threadwork, the buttons fit so well that I am sure they are original. The lady that was selling it dated it to around the 1730s. It comes from the collection of the late Harry Matthews, who was one of the founders of The Costume Society. Most of the collection went to the V&A, although some was sold privately.

Panel of 1730s Gentleman's Linen Waistcoat

The  work is simply exquisite.

Embroidery and thread work on 18th century waistcoat

I have noted how many Dorset (or Dorset in style) buttons are to be found on pillow cases. Lately I've also seen an early 20th century piece of baby's underclothing and 1920s envelope chemise with what look very much like these Blandford style buttons, but they have a fabric backing, so a little different to the originals:-

1920s Envelope Chemise with Dorset style buttons

I must say a big thank you to Jenny Sargeant from derbeatle on ebay, who has very kindly allowed me to use her images. She always has the most fascinating items for sale, specialising in lace and whitework.

Naomi x