|Date/Era/Period:||prior to 1921|
|Description:||This is a Mexican "Suit of Lights" or a matadors outfit. We date it from at least 1921 as their was an envelope in the pocket along with a couple of pictures. The postmark is September 1921 and written to a Mr and Mrs Allen Bloom in El Paso Texas.|
|Condition:||Pants and vest are in good condition. They probably need cleaning. The jacket has extensive silver bead work... including real silver and pearls. one tassel is missing form the front of the jacket and the lining has a tear.|
|Origin:||Over 25 years ago my husband found this item at a cleaners in Skokie, IL who was selling unclaimed property. He liked it. He bought it and its been in his possession since that time.|
|Provenance:||The only clue we might have to origin is the letter in the pocket of the jacket. The letter was written from an address in New York City to an Allen Broom in El Paso.|
|Appraised By:||Valerie Hammond|
|History Of The Item:||Wow !! This is an amazing item and by far one of the most interesting and beautiful items I have had the pleasure of appraising . The " Suit of Lights " is the term given to the traditional suites worn by Matadors. The suite is comprised of a Jacket, Waistcoat and Pants. The original pants were in the form of a one piece pant which rises very high and often over the shoulders, with a skin tight fit . They are somewhat strechy to allow flexibility of movement , but like a second skin to prevent any loose fabric causing the Toreros, or Toreadors ( the bullfighter ) any distractions. The parts of the suit are the Chaquetilla or jacket ,the Talaguilla, or waistcoat, and the pantalon.|
|Appraiser Tips:||I would strongly recommend that you take this to a textile expert to determine what you need to do to preserve this . It may need to be cleaned, and there are very special methods used to prevent damage. It would be a shame to do something, or to neglect doing something which could further damage the suit. Storage is also an issue, as is exposure to chemicals, light , dust and pollutants.|
|Research Sources:||A contact I have in Malaga Spain has very kindly given me some valuable insight into this item . Plus , there are some wonderful books on costume and strangely enough Torero and Picador " uniforms " and suits are included . Fascinating reading . While I have had no real dealings with Suits of Light , I have been dealing in vintage clothes and accessories for decades.|
|Appraiser Comments:||This is an extraordinary suit, and is in excellent condition considering its purpose. I cannot tell you if the beading is actually sterling silver, or if the pearls are real. Generally speaking, however, unless thiswas worn by one of the worlds best known Bullfighters, the chances are that it is not . A close up inspection of the images you so kindly provided, indicate that the majority of the work is actually silver coloured corded thread, white beading and sequin and rhinestone trim. The work is truly amazing, intricate and well defined . The overlap of designs forma an almosr armour likeappearance, and also provides the strength and rigidity required in the fabric. That, along with the fighters posture, stance and disciplined movements would have made him quite impressive in the ring . No wonder the women threw roses at hisfeet. This suit, is , despite the letters and other documents found ,Spanish, and bears all of the prestige and history which went along with the heroism( as itwas seen then ) of these fearless bullfighters carried with them into the ring . Today, of course most are " mock bullfights, where neither the bull nor " hero " are injured. By the way, the photos also have some value as a look at the history they capture, as is the letter and envelope . Perhaps one of our ephemera experts should have a look at them It has been my pleasure to assist you today. Valerie Hammond|
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