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Object Timeline

1962

  • We acquired this object.

1970

2013

2014

2019

2020

  • You found it!

Waistcoat (France), 1785–95

This is a Waistcoat. It was after Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune. It is dated 1785–95 and we acquired it in 1962. Its medium is silk and metallic embroidery on silk foundation, linen back and its technique is embroidered in silk in knot, stem, and satin stitches; metallic yarn in satin stitch; couched silk cord; appliqué of three plain weave silk fabrics; on plain weave foundation. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.



This handsome waistcoat depicts Dido and Aeneas in a scene from Didon, a popular 1783 opera by the composer Niccolò Piccini (Italian, 1728–1800) based on Virgil’s Aeneid. Set in the 9th-century-BCE city of Carthage, the two main characters stand before a low-latticed wall topped with ornamental urns filled with flowers. The setting evokes the late-18th-century interest in classical forms of antiquity as well as less formal garden settings.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Inspired by Opera.

This object was bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf (American, 1887–1961). It is credited Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 64.8 x 56.5 cm (25 1/2 x 22 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Waistcoat (France), 1785–95; After Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune (French, 1741–1814); silk and metallic embroidery on silk foundation, linen back; H x W: 64.8 x 56.5 cm (25 1/2 x 22 1/4 in.); Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf; 1962-54-47

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Embroidered and Embellished.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18445265/ |title=Waistcoat (France), 1785–95 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 February 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>