“L&H,” in other words East, Landon & Holland tailors, first purchased a piece of “Black Single Cassimere” from an English wool mill. The mill’s register (edited by John Smith & Co.) lists the names of relatively famous gentlemen clients, and the entry for 30 December 1859 includes “Lord G. Lennox”: Lord Gordon-Lennox, Duke of Richmond, educated at Westminster. Later the Duke would serve in the Royal Horse Guards, becoming aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, victor at Waterloo. Beginning in 1841 Lord Gordon-Lennox held various different government positions, and was a member of the Privy Council, Her Majesty’s private advisors. During the years when he relied on L&H tailors, Lord Gordon-Lennox was often photographed or painted in portraits. Yet regardless of whether he was portrayed in satirical engravings or captured in official photographs, his personal style remained impeccable – equally austere and Victorian as it was dynamic and a little off the beaten path. The Vitale Barberis Canonico® cloth archives still conserve registers of his orders, generically indicated as “Standard,” along with traces of hundreds of other famous, singular individuals from across the centuries.
“Standard” swatches like the one on display here almost certainly came from Huddersfield, in Yorkshire. They date to the period spanning from 1846 to 1856, and constituted the company’s commercial memory through the registration of its clients: primarily wholesalers and tailors, but also the most important end clients. This 155-page volume includes cloth swatches glued to the front and back of each page. Each client entry includes a sales date, company, the kind of cloth and the quantity (measured in yards). “Standard” cloth swatches include different kinds of fabrics intended for tailor-made clothing, primarily menswear.
** The original on display here dates from 1846 to 1857.