It was 2010 before I realized that Ebay was a possible research tool; I was searching on line for images of extant mid-late 19th Century sack coats and came on this:
I have actually never been convinced that it is an authentic piece so would not use it for documentation of details of 19th Century sack coats, but it opened the door. There is always the danger of particularly well done and subsequently well weathered reproductions making their way in, but I have found a number of interesting pieces that I judged to be likely authentic that I will highlight on this blog from time to time. Some of my favorites have been this velvet neck stock:
This complete suit from the ca. early 1900s:
And this tail coat from the ca. 1820s:
Once in a great while, I have been satisfied of authenticity, the garment appears to be about my measurements, it is in impeccable condition, no one else seems to notice it, and it finds its way onto me (rarely and for especially fancy and civil occasions ONLY). This coat and trousers are from ca. 1907 (dated on the inside pocket of the coat) and the scarf was with them; I found the waistcoat a couple of years later:
That's my darling Amy with me- we were attending a historical ball at the incredible Inn at Irwin Gardens in Columbus, Indiana. The tie is also an extant piece- late 19th or very early 20th Century from a vintage shop near Cincinnati, Ohio.