A stunning West End bespoke three piece suit tailored for Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, 1st Baron Hesketh in May 1941.
Baron Hesketh was born in 1881 and was educated at Eton, The Royal Military College of Sandhurts and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Horse Guards, as a Captain in the Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry and was an Honorary Major in the Territorial Army. As well as this he also served as a Justice of the Peace for Lancashire and for Northamptonshire. Hesketh sat briefly as a Member of Parliament for Enfield from 1922 to 1923 and was later High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1932.
He succeeded his father as eighth Baronet of Rufford in 1924 and in 1935 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hesketh, of Hesketh in the County Palatine of Lancaster. Befitting a man of this class, Baron Hesketh had all of his suits bespoke made by 'Kilgour French and Stanbury' of Dover Street which is the road which adjoins Savile Row. The quality of the materials used, the cut and the finishing is fantastic and nothing like other suits of the period. The suit exudes quality and class in the way only bespoke made clothing can.
The suit is cut from a mid-weight Glen Plaid Prince of Wales check wool cloth which is incredibly striking and was popular for less formal occasions during this period. The jacket is a single breasted example with three button front. Butterscotch coloured corozo buttons have been fitted to the jacket which contrast against the cloth beautifully and the cuffs are semi-functioning, as the first two buttons fasten whilst the second two do not. The jacket features a single breasted front, notch collar and no vents to the rear which are all typical features from this period. What is really nice about the suit jacket is the rear darts designed to pull the jacket in around the waist. This gives the jacket a fancy back look, almost like a belt back which can be seen best in pictures 4-6. The finishing at the back is fantastic with the lines meeting beautifully at the centre seam. The jacket can be worn as a three-roll-two as shown in the last of the attached pictures.
The interior of the jacket is fully lined and a hanging loop is located to the neck. There are three interior pockets and one bears the tailors label which has the maker's name of 'Kilgour, French & Stanbury Ltd' as well as the address of '33a Dover Street, London W.1'. The name 'Lord Hesketh' has been added in ink as has the date of 5th of May 1941. What is particularly interesting about the date is that WW2 was in full swing and 1941 was the year the rationing and economy measures were properly introduced and applied. This suit shows no signs of utility measures whatsoever!
The suit comes with a matching waistcoat which features a fantastic notched lapel. This was again a feature the Lord Hesketh had on many of his suits which can be seen in period pictures. The front of the waistcoat is made from the same Prince of Wales check material as used for the jacket and trousers whilst the rear panel is made from black silk. A half belt is made from the same material and fastens with a black metal buckle which is marked 'British Make'. To the reverse of the belt is another tailor's label with the same details which are described in the previous paragraph.
The trousers are again typical of the period featuring a high rise waist, fish tail rear and wide leg with turn up to the cuff. The fly fastens with buttons and more buttons are fitted around the waist to which braces can be attached. The rear of the trousers features twin pockets as well as a cinch back belt and buckle - a typical early feature. The turn up to the bottom of the leg is particularly fine being stiff - possibly fitted with cardboard or similar. The trousers also feature a tailor's label to the interior which again bears the same details as are found on the other two items.
The suit is a generous size which will suit someone of a 42" chest and when laid flat measures -
Chest - 23 1/4"
Inside arm - 16 1/2"
Outside arm - 24 1/2"
Shoulders - 17 1/4"
Length - 30"
Chest - 21 1/2"
Length - 22 1/2"
Waist - 19 1/2"
Rise - 14"
Rear rise - 21 1/2"
Inside leg - 29 1/2"
Outside leg - 41"
Cuff - 9"
The overall condition of the suit is excellent. It has clearly been very well looked after throughout its life and is still very fresh and vibrant today. There are no serious signs of wear or use but there is a very small area where the stitching has pulled on the right shoulder which is detailed in picture 7. There is also a mark to the bottom of the right sleeve as can be seen in picture 10. This is hardly noticeable due to the type of cloth but is still important to mention. There are very limited signs of wear which are noticeable under only close inspection around the collar of the jacket and to the hanging loop (picture 13) and to the top edge of the waistcoat. There are also a couple of yellow marks to the waist lining of the trousers although these are not visible when worn. Overall the suit is in incredibly good condition for its age but any flaws I can find have been included in the description for thoroughness.
The suit has been stored for a number of years and currently has a strong aroma of moth balls. This can be removed with cleaning depending on the next owner's wishes.
A truly fantastic suit, the likes of which are rarely offered for sale. Not only is it a good size bespoke suit but it features some striking details and belonged to a Lord. This stands aside from other suits of the period and would be very hard to better!
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