Mr Gurney's Waistcoat
Last month I treated myself to this delicious 18thc embroidered waistcoat in a North Norfolk auction.
I wanted it for itself and I had no idea I might discover anything about the owner until I showed it to my very knowledgeable local picture framer who took one look at the name written in ink in the lining and said "That must be one of the local Gurney family - the bankers." Gurney's bank, I discovered, eventually became Barclays.
And certainly, the group of expensive gentleman's clothing - all with Gurney names inside -that the waistcoat had been part of, did look like the wardrobe of a well to do country banker.
I started to research the Gurneys, looking for a "J H" who might have been the owner of the waistcoat. and found John Gurney, one of the banking cousins, 1750-1809. Is it his? The dates are right for the style, but it will take a lot more research before I can be more positive.
If it is John b.1750 then there is the added excitement that he was the father of the prison reformer, Elizabeth Fry.
Meanwhile I'm just admiring the exquisite embroidery and trying to work out how to get an 18thc waistcoat into a book set in India in 1805 which is what I'm writing now!
Labels: 18thc costume, Gurney's bank, Louise Allen, Norfolk, waistcoats
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