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Boy's Coat
1758-1760
Original Owner:Originally owned by John Eddy , American, 1755 - 1832
Clothing Maker:Made by Unknown
Hand-stitched linen, decorated with hand-embroidered crewel designs
Primary Dimensions (length x width): 19 x 13in. (48.3 x 33cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Lavinia K. Walsh
Gallery Copy: Eighteenth-century children’s clothing is exceedingly rare. The high value of cloth meant that garments were used until they wore out or were remade for younger children. This 3 or 4-year old boy’s jacket is a miniature version of an adult man’s sleeved waistcoat. The pocketless pocket flaps appear to be late additions to the design, as they obscure the top branches of the cherry trees. The adult styling and labor-intensive decoration suggest that this garment was made for a special occasion. Since a sleeved waistcoat was unlikely to be worn with a skirt (dresses were worn by infant boys and girls), the occasion likely coincided with its owner’s first breeches, marking his graduation from infancy.
Description: Small boy's sleeved waistcoat, styled like a man's, made of plain-woven, undyed linen with colorful crewel embroidery of stylized flowers (including tulips and roses) and cherry trees worked throughout. The coat is collarless and the sleeves have no cuffs. The coat skirt is flared and vented along the center back seam. There are pocket flaps on either side of the front, but no pockets. Six buttonholes and five replacement 19th-century brass buttons appear along the center front opening. (The original buttons were probably flat brass shank buttons.) Stitches: The principal stitch on the boy's coat is outline; it also includes encroaching satin, long and short, herringbone, darning, cross, buttonhole, and boullion. Coat originally belonged to John Eddy (1755-1832) of Chatham, Connecticut.
Object Number: 1978.104.0
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