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Not currently on display at the V&A

Bodice

1840s (made), 1850s (altered)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The 1840s saw the beginning of a long transition period between pockets as separate garments and those sewn into women’s clothes, when dressmakers began sewing pockets into skirt seams. But it is clear from surviving examples, paintings and literature that many women continued to wear separate pockets.

This is the type of pocket we are familiar with today, one intended to be part of a garment. It forms one piece of an unpicked dress of the 1840s. The glazed cotton pocket is lined along the opening with the green silk of the dress, so that it would show when the pocket is used.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Bodice
  • Pocket
  • Waistband
  • Bodice Lacing
Materials and Techniques
Woven silk-satin lined with glazed cotton, whalebone support, machine stitched
Brief Description
Bodice and parts, F., altered, green silk satin, lined with glazed cotton, British, 1840s-1850s.
Physical Description
Green bodice with short sleeves and décolleté neckline. The waist at the front and back ends in a deep point. The bodice fastens at the back like a corset. The whalebone supports on the inside and the machine stitching were probably added in the 1850s. Decorated at the neck and waist with piping.
Dimensions
  • Waist diameter: 61cm
  • Shoulder to shoulder width: 43.5cm
  • Front of neck to waist point length: 32.3cm
  • Bust, front width: 37.5cm
Credit line
Given anonymously
Summary
The 1840s saw the beginning of a long transition period between pockets as separate garments and those sewn into women’s clothes, when dressmakers began sewing pockets into skirt seams. But it is clear from surviving examples, paintings and literature that many women continued to wear separate pockets.



This is the type of pocket we are familiar with today, one intended to be part of a garment. It forms one piece of an unpicked dress of the 1840s. The glazed cotton pocket is lined along the opening with the green silk of the dress, so that it would show when the pocket is used.
Collection
Accession Number
T.87:1 to 4-1999

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record createdAugust 19, 2002
Record URL