Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Costume; Clothing; Main garments; Main garments for the upper body; Vests


Silk satin, cotton


1850-1860. Man’s vest of blue silk satin, embroidered with blue flowers, vines, and leaves.

The vest is made with four pieces: two front panels of blue silk satin and two back panels of brown polished cotton with a center-back seam. At the hem the front curves down across at the waist, and in back the panels curve up toward the center to a 2.54 cm / 1 in. high peak at the seam. The vest is single-breasted with front openings measuring 21 cm / 8.25 in. high. There are five flat buttons covered with black fabric at the opening. The vest has a deep V in front measuring 38.1 cm / 15 in. from the shoulder seam to the top of the front opening, finished with a shawl collar 8.3 cm / 3.25 in. at widest. There are two pockets on the left side and one on the right. The vest can be adjusted with a belt sewn in at the side seams in back. The entire vest is lined with a white polished cotton, with padding between the silk and the lining at the chest. Flowers, vines, and leaves are embroidered along the front hems, openings, pockets, and lapels with a two-ply silk thread matching the hue of the vest. The flowers and leaves are done in satin stitch, and the vines are done in a stem stitch. The name “H von Seeben” is written in ink on the lining of the left front panel. Machine-sewn and hand-sewn.


Chest: 101.6 cm / 40 in.
Hem: 90.2 cm / 35.5 in.
Side seam: 26.7 cm / 10.5 in.
Back length: 53.3 cm / 21 in.

Museum Number



University of New Hampshire Library


Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator

Date Digitized


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


The Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection digital catalog was produced by the UNH Library Digital Collection Initiative, supported in part by a grant from the Mooseplate program and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the E. Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.
Photography copyright, Astrida Schaeffer.


Men's vests, Waistcoats, 1850-1860, Single-breasted, Silk satin, Blue (color), Polished cotton, Glazed cotton, Brown (color), White (color), Shawl collar, Embroidery, Flowers, Vines, Leaves, Satin stitch, Stem stitch, Pockets, Belt, Machine-sewn, Hand-sewn