Like a kid at Christmas…

Last week I went on the archive catalogue training course with some volunteers, held by Ally and Jane, and ended up feeling like a kid at Christmas when we were shown around the Collections Store.

This magical treasure trove holds all the objects in our vast collection, and as I was wandering around beginning to get slightly over excited, a particular box caught my eye…

Ally very kindly indulged me and inside the box was none other than a beautifully ornate jacket, which we are assuming is Turkish in origin.

Oriental jacket that belonged to the Greg family
Turkish jacket that belonged to the Greg family

‘What is such an object doing in the Collections Store of an eighteenth-century cotton mill?’ I hear you ask. Well back in the 1970s when the property was turned into a museum, up in the attic of the Mill hundreds of objects that belonged to the Greg family were found stored away, including the bird eggs Ally told you about a few months ago and this gorgeous jacket.

The reverse of the jacket
The reverse of the jacket

It seems that the jacket was part of the Greg family’s fancy dress collection, which would tie in with the newly found knowledge that they held plays in winter up at Norcliffe Hall. The jacket is made from white cotton, and the brocade is gold coloured cotton, as is the lining. We don’t know when this jacket or any of the other fancy dress items date from but we can make a safe guess at them being 19th century.  We thought that perhaps one of the Greg’s brought them back from their travels abroad, but as yet we have no proof to back up this theory – hopefully the cataloguing may throw up an answer.

Oriental men's slippers
19th century Middle Eastern men’s slippers

The slippers pictured above belong to a three-piece Middle Eastern costume. They are made of royal blue velvet with gold brocade and a leather lining.

Detail of Turkish men's slippers
Detail of Middle Eastern men’s slippers

The slippers go with an undershirt, a jacket and a  pair of pantaloons that measure 1.2m wide! The pantaloons are made of blue silk,  stitched with gilt metal thread and have a drawstring waist.

The pantaloons are much larger than this - they are actually folded here!
The pantaloons are much larger than this – they are actually folded here!

Personally, I hope that the costume was for Edward Hyde Greg, purely for the comical image of seeing him and his magnificent moustache out of his usual suit and overcoat and in these fabulous pantaloons.

Edward Hyde Greg
Edward Hyde Greg

If anyone can shed any light on the date of these items or the country of origin please get in touch in the comments below, as neither Ally or myself are experts in this area!

Next week Ally and I will be bringing you another post from the collection which explores an object that was useful to both the workers and the Gregs…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sacha Newman says:

    How interesting!

    It is likely to be from Turkey – I have a jacket, pantaloons and shoes just like these for when I performed a Turkish folk dance a few years’ back – although I had an apron and a headpiece as well – I think the dance is from Central/South-eastern Anatolia – as you can get these sorts of jackets from Turkey now, I imagine it would date back to the time of the Gregs’ travels.

    Be interested to hear if you find out any more about it!

    1. Thanks Sacha! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that as the brilliant volunteers work their way through the Greg famiyl letters we will find more snippets of information that pieces the puzzle together.


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