Remarkable Late 1800s Charles H. Fox Theatre Costume Gold & Blue Brocade Great Coat
Charles H. Fox opened a small London shop in 1878 where he sold wigs, costumes, accessories and makeup to the Theatre people. He was a famously flamboyant character and was also known for helping people disguise themselves with makeup and costumes - and apparently his clients for that part of his business ranged from cheating husbands to private detectives. He ran his business from 1878 to his death in 1898 giving us a twenty year window of time when this would have been made within. Despite its grand age it is in remarkable shape and one of the best pieces I've ever seen from this time period.
This coat is utterly amazing and a true work of art. It is one of the things that you will only see once in your lifetime and only in the world of vintage. It is made from blue and deep gold brocade. The fabric does have some weight to it and it feels quite heavy when you lift it on the hanger but once on the body it drapes and sits very well. It is an extravagant great coat with all the wonderful dandy feel that that entails. It is deliciously decadent. There is no collar and it closes with has hidden set metal hooks down the front. Bands of gold braiding, with what perhaps looks like maybe a suggestion of a grape design, run down the front on either side. That same braiding also edges the amazing cuffs. The shoulders are soft and the sleeves extend from there and are finished with giant oversize cuffs. They are absolutely incredible and give it a bit of a pirate feel. The cuffs extend out well beyond the sleeve and are a full 11 inches wide at their widest height. Detailing each cuff are bands of gold cord stitched in place to suggest oversized buttonholes. Real metal gold toned buttons sit along the edge of each of those. That same oversized buttonhole detail also runs down the front of the coat with each one ending in another of the gold metal buttons. Mimicking the cuff detailing of the sleeves are huge flaps on each side of the front hip. These have more of the gold cording and button detailing and are actually hiding functional pockets underneath. The jacket is cut to skim over the chest, comes in slightly at the waist and then flares out dramatically. In person this flaring out feels even more dramatic than how it photos. There are slits up each side and there is extra fabric there to help add to the volume. At the back is a deep vent edged with gold braiding and more of the button detailing. And every button is present even after all this time. The interior is finished in cotton and is in amazing condition for a age. There is some minor fading to the inside fabric here but there are no true flaws on this coat and nothing that I would say is not natural patina of being somewhere in the area of 130 years old. To be completely wearable and in this condition for something of that age seems a little miraculous actually. The camera comes close but does not fully capture its beauty and presence when you see it in person. It is divine. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in soft blue cotton muslin and a heavier olive coloured cotton on the back inner bodice. It closes at the front with hidden set metal hook & eye. The fabric is wonderfully clean and strong. There are no real flaws to note other then a tiny bit of fading to parts of the blue interior here and there and a small repair near the interior seam of the arm. The exterior fabric is strong and wearable with nothing other then natural patina for its age. It is a garment that is somewhere near 130 years old and remarkable. Completely made by hand. Note that that company did exist on and off until present day and there is a chance it could be later but the source I got it from many many years ago was firm that it was this time.
Shoulders: are 15.5"
Sleeves: 19" and hang to about 23" to lowest point when on. 16" around the upper arm
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
The coat widens as it reaches the bottom hem so hips are open
Length: 37" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Note that antique and twenties pieces are final sale. They will be packed exceedingly well and we only sell pieces that will stand up to the stress of shipping, however, having pieces potentially shipped multiple times through multiple customs and countries is too hard on garments that are historically important and deserve to be treated with love and care. Please purchase accordingly.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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