Manchester Art Gallery

court suit

Object description

Dark blue velvet coat, waistcoat and breeches; black silk hat; black leather shoes; gilt shoe-buckles; steel sword and sword-belt. The court costume worn by the painter, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Coat; lined black twill silk, sleeves white; standing collar fronts cut slightly curved to horizontal cut away waist line, decorated with six gilt buttons, embossed with crown and "RA" on front inscribed "Jenners & Co.London" on back, on right, six lengths of braid, imitating buttons on left; side back seams and waist seam at back; skirt of two tails, curving away at front, overlapping at centre back with two buttons, on left; side back at front, overlapping at centre back with two buttons at overlap; narrow stitched-down pleat in each tail at opening, with button at base, shaped pocket flap at top of each tail; wide sleeves with stitched-down cuff: lining quilted in upper half; vertical pocket in lining of each tail. Waistcoat; back, black twilled silk, with two gussets at waist, lined white twilled silk; deep v-neck front fastening with four buttons, matching those on coat, but smaller and buttonholes; slit welted pocket each side; belt at back fastening with metal buckle stamped"PARIS". Breeches; lined white silk satin; seamed at centre front and centre back and at inner and outer leg; two black buttons at back, and two each side for braces; slit pocket cotton lined each side at top front; concealed front fastening with five black buttons and buttonholes; fastened at each knee on outsied with three buttons, matching those on waistcoat, with three buttonholes, and with gilt buckle, embossed with floral pattern of rose, thistle and shamrock. Buckles; open oblong with curved corners, embossed with design of reses, thistles, shamrocks; brown leather inset; steel back, spring fasteningc steel two pronged rectangles, one with prongs hinged. Shoes; black leather, low front with sides extending in narrow babs over instep and sewn together; slightly pointed toe; low heels. Hat; black silk plush over stiff foundation with oval crown and turned back (cocked) brim front and back; cockade of watered black silk ribbon on left hand side with bands of same material running diagonally across brim front and back; strip of gold braid running diagonally across cockade, round gilt button, embossed with crown and "RA" and to top rim of hat; lined black sild, stamped on the crown"MORRIS & CO, 50 PALL MALL, LONDON SW". Sword; steel blade chaced with leaf pattern, engraved "MORRIS AND CO. PALL MALL, LONDON SW" gilt hilt, chaced with the letters "RA" gold braid wrapped round handle with gold tassel attached, scabbard of brown leather with chased gilt metal covering at top and bottom. Sword Belt; black braid band with v-shaped tag with buttonhole, S-shaped metal hook fastener in the form of two serpents. The 'RA' suggests that the outfit was primarily worn at Royal Academy functions.