Sunday, February 10, 2013
Young Horatio Nelson Coat
I combed through a few portraits, and found one that fit the bill date-wise and general look and feel.
The young Captain Horatio Nelson, painted by John Francis Rigaud in 1781, with Fort San Juan—the scene of his most notable achievement to date—in the background. The painting itself was begun and nearly finished prior to the battle, when Nelson held the rank of lieutenant; when Nelson returned, the artist added the new captain's gold-braided sleeves. (Borrowed from Wikipedia - Caption information from John Sugden's Nelson: A Dream of Glory, p. 464.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Painting: 1270 mm x 1015 mm; Frame: 1250 mm x 1500 mm x 100 mm
Current location: National Maritime Museum
Accession number: BHC2901
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
All of the portraits I could find all have the facings un-bottoned, collars popped like the 18th century Bros they are. Visit my Pinterest board to see - http://pinterest.com/arachneattire/18th-century/.
The pattern I used as a base was JP Ryan's 1750’s Coat with Military Variations for the Officer orEnlisted Man.
The pattern has the facings as a separate piece sewn on as an after-thought on the front of the coat. All these portraits from the 1770s-1780s show the open, unbuttoned collar and that it is clearly one piece. In order to keep maximum accuracy, and badassitude, I figured I had to alter the pattern to be a single piece.
WM Booth Draper, which featured this caption. Broadcloth, 100% wool, Navy Blue, 24 oz., 60" wide, $25/yd.
This wool was intended for the New York City police department which has very strict quality standards, according to WM Booth Draper. It is lovely, thick and is the perfect color for the 1781 portrait of Nelson.
I have not yet managed to find 100% wool in white or buff for the facings, but I haven't given up yet. I see a trip to Osgood Textile in my future.
I'm pretty sure I will need 100,000 yards of it. Sigh.