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Pocket

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1700-1725 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen hand-sewn with linen thread, embroidered with wool and bound with linen tape

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.

  • Museum number:

    T.730B-1913

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the 18th century, women’s pockets were not sewn into their gowns. Instead they were attached to a tape and tied around the waist as separate garments. Worn under the hoops and petticoats, they were accessed through openings in the gown and petticoat seams.

This single pocket of linen is adorned with wool embroidery, reflecting the tradition of British crewel work (wool embroidery) of the late 1600s and early 1700s. However the pointed ends of the petals and leaves show the influence of Indian printed cottons. The embroidery motifs mirror each other on either side of the pocket, but are asymmetrical enough to suggest they were drawn free-hand. Around the pocket opening is a design imitating the kind of metal mount used on furniture of the period.

There is a slight angle to the top of the pocket implying that it might align to one or other side of the body. It is not clear from the documentation about pockets and images of women wearing them whether they were tied at the front or the back of the waist.

Physical description

Linen embroidered with yellow, green, red, pink and blue wool in a pattern of floral motifs and gadrooned scroll around the opening. Bound with linen tape, linen tie has been cut off.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1700-1725 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Linen hand-sewn with linen thread, embroidered with wool and bound with linen tape

Dimensions

Length: 34 cm maximum, Width: 21 cm maximum

Object history note

Given by Messrs. Harrods in 1913, part of a very large collection of historical dress bought by them from the artists Talbot Hughes who amassed the objects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Materials

Linen; Linen thread; Wool yarn; Linen tape

Techniques

Hand sewing; Hand embroidery

Subjects depicted

Flowers

Categories

Textiles; Clothing; Embroidery; Containers; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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