Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122b

Hand Warmer and Purse

1880 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This hand warmer was intended to warm the owner's hands on a cold winter's day, or during a long service in a chilly church or perhaps on an unheated train journey. The main body consists of a flask which can be filled with hot water. A small side attachment with a clasp functions as a purse. The earliest hand warmers date from the 13th century and were used by priests to warm their hands during church services. By the 17th century, ceramic hand warmers, often in the form of a book, were carried in a lady's muff or pocket.

Design
The design of this hand warmer has been registered with the British Patent Office by the retailer to protect the idea of combining the function of the warmer and purse from plagiarism by other manufacturers or retailers. The design was drawn as well as described. The drawing shows an object with ornament in the form of a shell. The hand warmer does not have this decoration which must have been seen as unnecessary when the object was finally made. It is described in the patent office registers as a 'muff warmer and purse'.

Trading
According to the Patent Office design register the hand warmer was registered by a William Hannaford of 228 Regent Street, London, who may have been related to Thomas Hannaford of the retailing business Halstaff and Hannaford at the same address. The firm put together and sold writing boxes, dressing cases and ladies' work boxes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Britannia metal, electroplated
Brief Description
Hand warmer with built in purse
Dimensions
  • Height: 5.1cm
  • Width: 10.7cm
  • Depth: 7.4cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 07/06/1999 by silver dept.
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mrs H.M. Gordon
Object history
British Patent Office Registry Mark, within diamond lozenge, dated to 7 May 1880.Made in England
Summary
Object Type
This hand warmer was intended to warm the owner's hands on a cold winter's day, or during a long service in a chilly church or perhaps on an unheated train journey. The main body consists of a flask which can be filled with hot water. A small side attachment with a clasp functions as a purse. The earliest hand warmers date from the 13th century and were used by priests to warm their hands during church services. By the 17th century, ceramic hand warmers, often in the form of a book, were carried in a lady's muff or pocket.

Design
The design of this hand warmer has been registered with the British Patent Office by the retailer to protect the idea of combining the function of the warmer and purse from plagiarism by other manufacturers or retailers. The design was drawn as well as described. The drawing shows an object with ornament in the form of a shell. The hand warmer does not have this decoration which must have been seen as unnecessary when the object was finally made. It is described in the patent office registers as a 'muff warmer and purse'.

Trading
According to the Patent Office design register the hand warmer was registered by a William Hannaford of 228 Regent Street, London, who may have been related to Thomas Hannaford of the retailing business Halstaff and Hannaford at the same address. The firm put together and sold writing boxes, dressing cases and ladies' work boxes.
Collection
Accession Number
M.14-1978

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL