Archery like most sports, requires freedom of movement and demands considerable exertion, so that sporting clothes even as early as the 1790s, and even for women, had to reflect this need. Although this green glazed worsted archery jacket has been fitted very tightly to the wearer's body, the pink undersleeves are attached only at the top of the sleeve openings, leaving the rest of the sleeve to hang loose. This innovative construction detail would have allowed the wearer to move her arms far more freely than in corresponding daywear.
There is only a single remaining metal button on the jacket, and it is inscribed with the Royal British Bowmen and the motto "ICH DIEN" with a motif of crown, bow, arrow and bugle. As early as 1787, The Royal British Bowmen allowed women full membership, with voting rights and an official uniform, and this is a very early survival of this outfit.
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