Uncut Waistcoat Front (probably China, for French market), late 18th century
This is a Uncut waistcoat front. It is dated late 18th century and we acquired it in 1962. Its medium is silk and its technique is laid, knot, and satin stitch embroidery on satin weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.
Below flowering blossoms and dainty sprigs is a scene of a violent cockfight. The large scale of the animals heightens the aggressive nature of their confrontation. Long popular in France, the 18th-century excavations of Pompeian mosaics showing cockfights also may have influenced this design. On a gentleman’s waistcoat, fighting cocks also could be interpreted as symbols of strength and virility.
This object was
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: 60.3 x 54.6 cm (23 3/4 x 21 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
Uncut Waistcoat Front (probably China, for French market), late 18th century; Previously owned by George Saville Seligman ; silk; H x W: 60.3 x 54.6 cm (23 3/4 x 21 1/2 in.); Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf; 1962-54-50