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Spencer style jacket

Date made: 1836-1840

Maker: unknown maker

Description: White cotton women's 'Spencer' jacket with puffed and fathered sleeves and deep collar. The Spencer, dating from the 1790s, was originally a woolen outer tail-coat with the tails omitted. It was worn as a short waist-length, double-breasted, man's jacket. It was originally named after George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758–1834), who is reported to have had a tail-coat adapted after its tails were burned by coals from a fire.

It was also soon adopted as a popular women's fashion on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1790–1820 Regency style period. The spencer was worn as a cardigan, or as a short, fitted jacket cut to just above waist level, or, in Empire style, to the bust line, and tailored on identical lines to the dress.

(Reference image taken in the 1990s.)

Materials: cotton

Object name: spencer

Collection: Costume & Textiles Collection

ID Number: 1956-0203


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