Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pair of pockets

Pair of pockets

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk taffeta, hand-sewn with silk thread, and silk and taffeta ribbons

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J. Bentley

  • Museum number:


  • 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 pair of silk satin pockets is somewhat of a mystery, as the lack of decoration makes it very hard to assign a date. The pockets were acquired with a quilted white satin petticoat, and it is assumed they were worn with it. Completely plain, they illustrate an equally attractive alternative to the embroidered examples. Although the tie has been broken and retied, there are few other signs of wear.
From letters, diaries and novels of the 18th century it is clear that pockets often held a wide variety of objects both personal and practical, including letters, money, jewellery, handkerchiefs, sewing kits, mirrors and keys, among other things.

Physical description

Pair of pockets made of plain white silk taffeta, bound with white silk twill ribbon and with white silk taffeta ribbon. Hand-sewn.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1760 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk taffeta, hand-sewn with silk thread, and silk and taffeta ribbons

Object history note

Given by Mrs. J. Bentley in 1969, along with a white satin quilted petticoat. It is assumed that the two were worn together and the pockets have been dated to the pattern of the quilting, c1760.

Descriptive line

Pair of pockets made of silk taffeta, England, ca. 1760


Silk; Silk thread; Ribbon, silk


Hand sewn


Accessories; Textiles; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.