Despite the label having been cut out of this cloak, enough remains to show that it was of the same dimensions, colour and material as that in a labelled example in poor condition
also in my collection, and the amazingly high quality and workmanship is similar.
Lewis and Allenby of London advertised themselves as cloakmakers to the Queen (Victoria), and are naturally best known for their elaborate mantles, dolmans and cloaks. This 1900 example is made from a sumptuous black silk velvet with black jet-beaded soutache braid, appliquéd black lace motifs which are also beaded, a black lace flounce which is over a plain black taffeta rustly flounce, and also has a deliciously frilly storm collar, with ruched and gathered taffeta and lace. It ties with long black satin ribbons and also fastens with hook 'n eyes, and is in the most amazing, near-pristine condition. This is as top-range as London fashion gets.