1840 - 1860
Silk damask, Gold braid, Embroidery
5 ft (Height)Order this image
Robe of Chancellor of the Exchequer, in black silk damask with gold-coloured metal thread braid, and highly decorative frogging incorporating tassels and spangles. Has a train and hanging false sleeves.
This opulent robe of office was worn by the future Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) during his three terms of office as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the mid-19th century, one of the oldest and most important roles in British government. It is made of black silk damask and is heavily embellished with gold embroidery, braid and trimming. Worn on ceremonial occasions, it's believed that the robe once belonged to William Pitt the Younger who held the same office during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The origins of this style of state attire can be traced to the parliamentary and court fashions in England following the restoration of Charles II in 1660.