Interactive: Man's Black Wool Suit, by Unknown Maker, 1800-17


An ensemble made from black wool has been the uniform of the middle-class professional – doctor, lawyer, clergyman, academic, merchant, businessmen - since the late 16th century. This tradition continued through the 19th century and well into the 20th. The sombre colour of this suit befits the sober profession of its wearer, Thomas Coutts (1735-1822), the founder of Coutts Bank. The notched collar and cut-away front of the coat reflect early-19th-century fashions. On the other hand, the old-fashioned breeches are appropriate for Mr Coutts's advanced age.

Museum no. 371-1908

A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.

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V&A Box Picture Frame (11x14 inches) (Black)||EVAEX

V&A Box Picture Frame (11x14 inches) (Black)||EVAEX

Black box frame. Frame to fit an 11ins x 14inch print. Handmade in the UK from sensibly sourced ash and stained black. It's easy to fit the print of y…

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Event - Black Shakespeare: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Sat 03 May 2014 15:30

SPECIAL EVENT: Join historian Dr Rodreguez King-Dorset, Researcher in African Performance at Cambridge University's Centre of African Studies, for an exclusive event investigating the role of black actors in Shakespeare.

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