Finally getting around to watching the third and final season of Deadwood, loving it as much as the initial two runs.

I was startled to note that the vest worn by Hearst in the scenes where he is placed under arrest by Sheriff Bullock is a near match to one of my antiques. Pausing the show and rushing down to the basement, I was surprised to note several things about the piece that had escaped me previously:

– a name, presumably the comissioning owner, is crow quilled into the inside of the right cinch belt in time-reddened india ink, “C. SCOLA.”

– a cleaner’s or tailor’s tag has been whip stitched on the outside of same: “07 96,” it seems to read.

– nearly all the fabric is silk, save the decorative front-casing of mauve and blue chalkstriped yellow cloth

– there is an unhemmed flap at the root of the interior of the right cinch belt with a clearly visible ink blot and the numerals 08 in what appears to be fine black Sharpie. Just under them is an illegible and very finely drawn inscription, much lighter and fainter than the “C. SCOLA” but sharing the reddened tone of century old ink.

– the buttons are all true mother-of-pearl, with shaping irregularities and visible layering

There are divers stains and wear marks as well, such as a right-angled corner hole on the interior lining corresponding to the right lower front pocket, just where I would carry a lighter if I were to wear the garment as a smoker for any length of time.

Overall, the fabric remains supple, alive to the touch.

My guess is that whipstitching is the maker’s initial delivery date – July, 1896.