Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Victorian Riding Habit!

From the seller:
Rare bespoke English side saddle habit. Dating to the late 19thc. With English label in both the jacket and the apron with owners name . The jacket in a charcoal black gray, the apron in compliment matching dark gray green. The jacket with beautiful tailoring and flat felled seams, button closure, two vents at the back, long flared shape. Apron or skirt with all the accoutrements side hook and eye at waist with button closure below. Overall excellent with scattering of small pindot holes in the jacket, and the silk lining has some shatter in the jacket. Chest 36" waist 26", length 32", sleeves 23", shoulder to shoulder 12.5". Skirt waist 24".

From Me:

Empress Sissi in her Riding Habit, 1884

First, of WAY more interest to me than the Riding Habit is the Riding Habit creator.  I looked up Mr. Scott and he OWNED Queen Mary of Scot's house in London.   *dies*

For those that can't read the above due to silly ip restrictions:

SCOTLAND'S ill starred Queeen is reputed to have been in so many parts of the country and lodged in so many castles and mansions that it would seem as if she had kept up a continual itinerary throughout her rather unsettled domains. Some of the claims to her presence are rather doubtful but her visits to Peebles Traquair and Jedburgh cannot come under that category as there is abundant historical evidence on the subject. The well known Queen Mary's House in Jedburgh is for sale at present and offers are being invited for some valuable tapestry which has been removed from the house for the purpose of being sold. Offers are to be sent to Mr Charles S Romanes CA Edinburgh trustee on the sequestrated estate of Mr Alexander Scott, ladies tailor and habit maker, Jedburgh and London. The tapestry consists of an old panel of the fifteenth or sixteenth century 15 feet by 6 feet representing the meeting of Jacob and Esau removed from the Jedburgh house and believed to have been her property. There is also another old panel of the same period 11 feet by 11 feet representing Jacob being wakened by Laban which is also in the market Mr Romanes has prepared a historical statement on the house and tapestrv which contains so much matter of interest to Borderers that we quote it entire having received his permission to do so Mr Scott purchased Queen Mary's house and grounds Jedburgh from Colonel Armstrong a Russian gentleman son of General Armstrong, Master of the Mint St Petersburg, who had left Jedburgh more than 100 years ago and whose ancestors had been the owners of Queen Mary's house.

The above is from The Border Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, Volume 12 from 1907.

He also advertised about his safety skirts in 1887.

What are safety skirts? They are what you see above in this extant garment, honestly. You can read more about them on Edwardian Promenade. According to Margot Asquith who wrote an autobiography back in 1920, she told Mr. Scott to patent his safety skirt.

That he patented the safety skirt is backed up in Vanity Fair circa 1896:

Given all of this, my guess is that he was quite good at his job and this was probably from the 1880's.


  1. Fascinating! Thanks for doing the research and giving the transcription. That really helps.

    I love to see a riding habit preserved here since I only get to see them in engravings and hard-to-navigate museum sites.

    1. Of course! I know that many websites will only let you view certain material if you happen to live in certain areas. Why, when there are ip spoofers out there, seems like lawyers trying to make law based on something that doesn't really exist anymore.

      It's really a neat piece. I wish the seller laid out the skirt so we could see that more easily but it looks interesting.