#4144 $1,500 Sold
Gentleman's smoking jacket, 1870s-1880s
In the 1850s, the Gentlemen's Magazine of London described the smoking jacket as a "kind of short robe de chambre, of velvet, cashmere, plush, merino or printed flannel, lined with bright colors, ornamented with brandenbourgs, olives or large buttons."
The Crimean War brought fine Turkish tobacco to England. Smoking became fashionable among the upper classes. After dinner a gentleman would put on a smoking jacket and retreat to a den or to the smoking room. The jacket was intended to absorb the smoke and protect his clothing from falling ash.
Our smoking jacket is fashioned from printed wool faille and is lined with contrasting printed cotton. The shawl collar, cuffs, pocket flaps, and buttons are black quilted silk. The front opening is embellished with Brandenburg tape appliqués around the top button.
The black-and-orange print features intricate and exotic Eastern motifs (to go with the Turkish tobacco), including the elaborate filigree work characteristic of Persian art. Although upper class Englishmen would not wear the ethnic clothing favored by artists and bohemians, a plush "ethnic-style" smoking jacket was just daring enough for aristocratic taste.
The condition is excellent.
It measures: 44" chest and waist, 52" hip, 19" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, 25" sleeve length, and 37" from shoulder to hem.