1904 Edwardian Men's Waistcoat--amazing Vintage Black Vest Wool, Custom Small For Sale

(Advertisements from 1903, the year before this waistcoat was made at FRED KAUFFMANN, Chicago) GENUINE, TAGGED 1904 CUSTOM-MADE MEN'S VEST/WAISTCOAT-- MADE IN CHICAGO FOR MINING COMPANY SUPERVISOR IN VIRGINA CITY, MONTANA

If you are a “history buff” (as I most certainly am!) it's WONDERFUL to find an article ofgenuine antique men's clothing--and be able to know exactly when it was made—and whom it was owned by/made for--such as this beautiful black men's wool vest. It’s not often one find’s a garment that is as well-identified as this one. There are two tags on the inside breast pocket, one of which gives the original purchaser’s name, a Mr. John Pankey, who was apparently the Supervisor of the Missouri Mining Company of Virginia City, Montana.Looks like just after the new year of 1904, Mr. Pankey headed to “The Big City,” Chicago, to have a custom-tailored waistcoat made at the tailoring firm of Fred Kauffmann at 180-186 Market Street. It would seem unlikely that there were many high-end fashion outlets in the wilds of Montana at that time—as Montana had only become a State just 14 years earlier. Fred Kauffmann was a major, noted men’s haberdasher, right in the heart of Downtown Chicago’s “Loop”. Mr. Pankey clearly had very good—and expensive—taste!

The fine quality of Kauffmann’s tailoring is evident by the fact that this vest has held up beautifully after all these years. All the seams are solid, the original buttons are still firmly attached. The buttons do show quite a bit of wear—in fact, that is the only real “issue” with this vest: The silk fabric that covers the buttons is significantly worn. Replacing the buttons with a set of your choice would be a very simple fix. But the fact that they’ve stayed fast with this garment for over 100 years dissuaded me from replacing them myself. I think they add “character” to the vest…though that would be up to you. The solid black wool fabric that faces the front of the vest is flawless…not a single hole or tear. The back, I believe, is raw silk. It, too, has held up remarkably, though there are a couple areas where it has become somewhat threadbare. The new owner might want to stabilize these areas with a patch to the reverse side—or not. It’s just fine as-is, in my opinion. There is a buckle belt on the back to expand/contract the waistline. The vest has two nicely etched pockets, lined in a bronze raw silk (I believe). There is one interior breast pocket, where the maker’s tags reside. The styling of the vest is classic Edwardian, with the “scoop” front and the finely stitched lapels. The interior is lined in an ivory silk, which has discolored considerably. There is water marking as well as several other marks—none of which, of course, show when the vest is worn. Happy to report, the armpits show no discoloration or wear and there is very little/no musty smell, which is endemic to most clothing of this age.

This style could be worn with a tuxedo, or on its own, with a cravat, bowtie or….? The possibilities are endless. Just a smashing relic of another era that somehow survived the years (and the moths!).

The size, I would say, is a men’s Small. Here are the measurements:

Chest: 38”

Waist: 33”

Length (top of back collar to bottom front): 22”

Armhole (top to bottom): Apprx. 9”

Lapel: 2” at widest point (at the bottom of the ‘scoop’)

Be sure to save me as a "favorite seller"! I'll be selling several EXCELLENT, rare, vintage men's vests in the coming weeks (and other cool stuff as well!).

You can buy with assurance with me. Refer to my 100% positive response and know that I only sell quality merchandise that I'm proud to be associated with. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact me and I'll try to help in a timely manner.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a buyer with less than 10 positive responses, you must contact me before offerding to assure that you are genuine. I regret having to do this, but owing to several fools with nothing better to do than to place false offers on my items--and then disappear--this is, sadly, a necessity.

  • Insurance is required on all items...and as a "free gift" with your purchase, I will pay for the insurance (U.S. only).
  • I accept PAYPAL ONLY as a form of payment, and payment is required within three days of sale's end.
  • I do ship internationally,via USPSInternational Priority Mail, which ishigher than U.S. First Class, but it is quicker delivery and it is easier for both ofus to track the shipment while it's en route—the international rates will be calculated and charged actual cost at the end of the sale.
  • Importantnote: As I have had problems with shipping/customs tocertain countries, I don't ship everywhere internationally, so check to besure that I can ship to your area before offerding.
  • I only ship via USPS Priority Mail and will ship your item in the smallest box that it reasonably fits into--thus, there may be wrinkling upon arrival. If you prefer to have it shipped in the next-largest sized USPS Priority mail box, I'm happy to do that...though there is, of course, extra postage involved (and Internationally, it can be substantially higher, as the cost is based on the size of the box, not the weight).
  • And as I feel that this item is fully, accurately and completely described and shown, there are no refunds/returns.

THANK YOU, and good luck offerding! Please check my other sales, too...you may find something you absolutely can’t live without!

On Apr-22-13 at 04:09:50 PDT, seller added the following information:

Please note: My mannequin is slightly too-large to display this vest properly. In some of my photos, the two fronting pieces appear to meet unevenly, when in fact they do have a straight line at the bottom when worn by the properly-sized person. Thanks!

On Apr-22-13 at 04:11:54 PDT, seller added the following information:

Also: It appears in the photos that there is a lighter-colored spot near the front, at the front point where the lapel begins to fold over. It isn't a flaw or a hole--the undersides of the lapels are faced with a lighter-colored fabric, which is what you're seeing in the photos.


1904 Edwardian Men's Waistcoat--amazing Vintage Black Vest Wool, Custom Small

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1904 Edwardian Men's Waistcoat--amazing Vintage Black Vest Wool, Custom Small:
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