ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Costume, Fashion and Textiles

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December 28, 2023

Politics & Luxury Network

Court dress composed of a coat, a waistcoat and breeches, Lyon or Paris, 1780-1790.
Silk, curly velvet, sequin embroidery.
Deposit of the Charles-Frédéric Necker Foundation. DEP 4069.

This habit belonged to Jacques Necker, Director General of Finance of Louis XVI. According to family tradition, he would have worn it on May 5, 1789, at the opening of the Estates General. Jacques Necker’s precious outfit is embroidered with sequins made of silver-copper alloy. Some are covered with a layer of coloured gelatine. There are no semi-precious stones, but instead glass tinted with cobalt and white discs made of mother of pearl.

The attire has been meticulously restored at the Swiss National Museum Collection Centre.

Object Property of Foundation C.-F. Necker, on loan at the National Museum Switzerland, Inv n° DEP 4069.

Text by Helen Bieri-Thomson, director of National Museum Switzerland.

Images by © Musée national suisse. Photo : Jörg Brandt Copyright: Musée National Suisse-Château de Prangins.

ICOM Costume 2023.