Pre-Brummell male splendour

Treasure Hunt

I have just discovered a blog called The Hidden Wardrobe, which focuses on the costume collection assembled by Charles Paget Wade (1883-1956) which is now housed at Berrington Hall.

Charles Wade was an eccentric collector who amassed a huge variety of historic artefacts at his Cotswold home, Snowshill Manor. He was fascinated by the aura of old, beautiful and well-made objects, and Snowshill is still an extraordinarily evocative place to visit.

After the National Trust acquired Wade’s collections the costumes were taken to Berrington to improve their storage conditions. The Hidden Wardrobe now provides a glimpse of some of the 2,203 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century costume items in the collection.

I was particularly struck by these sumptuous men’s waistcoats from the late eighteenth century. I suppose these represented the style that the Regency dandy Beau Brummell was reacting against when he crafted the minimalist look that is still…

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