Thursday, January 12, 2012

Men's Custom Coat

From the seller:

Antique 1800's wool cutaway double breasted Butler's jacket with 6 silver buttons and 2 small buttons at each cuff. The back tails have 11 silver buttons (one missing). 2 inside pockets. Fully lined. Made by Browning King & Co Custom Department. The left sleeve has had a 1" hole repaired and there are 2 burn holes at bottom front, otherwise great condition. 34" chest, 26" sleeve length.

From Me:

I was curious about this coat. Yes, it has that Regency flair but...the buttons? The buttons were all wrong. And the machine sewing? Clearly not Regency. Then I saw the tag. You can read more about this company in this 1934 article here:,9171,747461,00.html

My guess is, based on the tag, probably 1940's? Maybe 1930's? But it's newer. Yes, not something I'd normally post but I wanted to point out that everyone needs to be careful when buying antique clothing online.


  1. Very interesting! Honestly, I don't think this is even regular evening wear. The profusion of shiny buttons and pocket flaps, etc., make it look a lot more like livery. 30s and 40s tuxedos/cutaways tended to have dark or self-covered buttons, and hidden inside pocket(s) in the tails. This is way "flashier" in a way. Also, I've seen tailoring labels from the 1930s and 1940s, and they're pretty much always sewn in by hand. This one is machine, which makes it seem from either even later in the century, or not actually a bespoke article. I couldn't read most of the article, but based on the first few sentences, I think this is an occupational uniform, possibly for a waiter or a butler. Not 1800s by any means, but honestly very interesting in its own right!

    1. Oh yes, definitely not for evening wear. I was thinking maybe a theater group or even a club? I'm not sure.

      From what I'm able to find - it looks like Browning King and Co got bought out or went defunct in 1934. It's probably what the article is about! (I can't read it all either...)

    2. I saw a clip from "Roberta" yesterday (Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers), and there were footmen in the fancy dress designer's boutique dress in tailcoats that looked just like this one, at least from the front. Very interesting!