Red hunting dress coat with tails, fastened and decorated with engraved metal buttons, Great Britain, 1900-20
Red hunt dress coat with wide lapels with revers faced with silk satin grosgrain . The coat is double breasted and has 3 sets of brass buttons on either side with the initials 'BH'? with 2 identical buttons on the back at the waist seam and the cuffs are fastened with 2 smaller identical buttons. The coat has a waist seam with 2 front darts on either side and a back vent and is sharply cut away at the side to form 2 long tails. The coat is part lined with red sateen and scarlet silk satin grosgrain and the sleeves are lined with cream silk satin.
As well as being a popular sport, hunting acquired a greater social status than ever during the 19th and early 20th century. To be seen on the hunting field was an essential attribute of social success. This coat is from an important collection previously in Castle Howard, Yorkshire, that includes seven scarlet hunt coats and one blue hunt coat as well as waistcoats, breeches, stockings and boots. There were many different hunt membership rules regulating the colour of the coat, collar and buttons. The engraved buttons on this coat denote the hunt the wearer belonged to. This is an example of a dress hunt coat worn for formal occasions and hunt balls, not out on the field. Dress hunt coats are double-breasted with wider lapels and short tails behind. They often include elements made of more luxurious materials, such as velvet collars and silk-satin facings to the lapels.
Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Friends of the V&A, and a number of private donors
Location: In Storage