This is a Waistcoat panels. It is dated 1750–1765 and we acquired it in 1962. Its medium is silk, metallic thread, metallic foil and its technique is embroidered. It is a part of the Textiles department.
The ideals of the Enlightenment were familiar to most people in 18th-century France. The French press reported widely on the latest scientific and political news and provided most classes of people with an impressive knowledge of current events. Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713–1762), a French astronomer, was the reluctant recipient of popular acclaim for his cataloging of over 10,000 stars at the Cape of Good Hope during the 1750s. Lacaille also determined that Edmond Halley (English, 1656–1742) had correctly calculated that comets followed orbital paths, which made them visible from Earth at regular intervals. Lacaille named the comet posthumously in his honor. This waistcoat panel, with its dramatic sprays of stars, likely refers to Halley’s Comet, which appeared again in 1758–1759.
It is credited
Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf.
Its dimensions are
H x W (a): 75.6 × 39.4 cm (29 3/4 × 15 1/2 in.) H x W (b): 76.2 × 40 cm (30 in. × 15 3/4 in.)
Cite this object as
Waistcoat Panels; silk, metallic thread, metallic foil; H x W (a): 75.6 × 39.4 cm (29 3/4 × 15 1/2 in.) H x W (b): 76.2 × 40 cm (30 in. × 15 3/4 in.); Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma Greenleaf; 1962-54-2-a,b
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Embroidered and Embellished.