Product images of Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1748-1758
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Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1748-1758
This frock coat of a midshipman is quite similar to the lieutenant's undress frock. However, the sleeves feature a white boot cuff divided by a three-pointed flap of blue wool. This was known as the 'mariner's cuff' and came directly from the occupational dress of sailors. By the mid 18th century it was also incorporated into fashionable dress, featuring on both men's suit coats and women's riding habits.
The midshipman's frock also features a stand up collar of blue wool lined with white velvet, which would often have been removed and re-attached. For example, in cold or inclement weather, the collar would have been sewn on to the coat as a stand-up collar. If it was not needed in this way it could be re-attached as a turn-down collar. This was standard practice with most 18th century clothing - lace and buttons were constantly being removed from one garment and re-applied to another. The midshipman would have been no stranger to stitching.
- Image reference: F2206-4
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London