From the seller:
This vest was in a large trunk that had been packed away many years ago. It had been in the attic of a huge local plantation house since. The trunk had about 20 old dresses, etc in it. Please see my other items for a couple more. Everything in the trunk seemed to me to be from 1870's to 1920. I'm guessing the age of this vest in the middle of there. If I'm wrong, please let me know. The measurements are 19 1/2 at the armpits, stretched out, 22 1/2 max height. As the pics show, there is a finely woven or pressed geometric pattern and 6 nice buttons. Also, there are removable cotton pads in the chest area. It is discolored from age. I have not tried to wash it, as I don't have experience and do not wish to damage it.
Hehehe...it has falsies!!!!!! :-) Actually, padding was quite common for men. It helped to better round out their figure.
|1819 Caricature of Fashion|
Typically, it was at the shoulders but either the seller could be wrong in the placement or the guy that owned this had one heck of a beer belly that he was trying to accommodate a bit better. The actual waistcoat is probably from the early 1840's or late 1830's. This style was very popular for a very, very long time. The biggest difference between this one and the later styles is the width of the collar. Just like the width of ties today show whether it's vintage or modern, the width of the collar then showed whether the waistcoat was new or his grandfathers.
The above are just a few examples in the MET that show a similar cut to a waistcoat.