For sale here is a very rare opportunity to purchase a genuine Victorian motoring overcoat by A.W Gamage. The coat is almost complete with what looks like the original buttons, the belt and securing loop, metal neck chain and original linings. Just the storm collar tab is missing and one of the buttons to fasten it, but you could easily have one made. The coat features a soft but robust cotton sleeve lining ( original) with a light tweed type wool main body lining. A.W Gamage and later 'Gamages' were a department store, much like Harrods, who really bought into the vehicular inventions of the period and sold plenty of bicycles, motor bicycles and the clothing to suit. In the images is an advert from 1902 which features a coat identical to this item.
The date of the coat is pinned down by the adverts on Graces guide but also further research into Gamages and their products. If you look at Gamages products the term ' Gamages' started to be used in 1900 with a phasing out of 'A.W Gamage' between 1900-1901. Ergo, the coat can only date from 1901 or before.
Length - 45
Chest - 22
Fit A 38 / 40 and relatively short in the sleeve by todays standards but in saying that the wearer would have been wearing sheepskin gauntlet gloves so not really an issue. The length is fine for up to a six foot tall motorist.
Condition Excellent for the age. As mentioned the coat is completely original with only minor repairs. The leather is of course deteriorating in places but is still supple all over and with the right products could look very presentable. When we acquired the coat it was dry looking but surprisingly supple, we gave it two coats of natural oils but nothing to darken or add wax to the coat, just something to give back more moisture. The seams could do with minor repairs where the back seams converge ( see image) and the joins in the belt have a few broken threads but really nothing major. The coat is very wearable as is but could do with a nice heavy layer of Connolly hide food or similar and a few stitches ideally. That said, with a coat of this age you have to expect some running repairs and it will not last forever if used daily. The seat of the coat has colour transfer from the oxblood leather seats of a blower Bentley or similar and the lower knee areas show some scuffing. The worst patch is the collar on the right occipital area. This looks like its about to fall apart but actually is quite supple and solid, perhaps an area to patch though . The lining is very good and the sleeves excellent, apart from a small amount of historical moth damage near the hem, as photographed.
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