Pair of Pockets thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Pair of Pockets

ca. 1760 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Pocket
  • Pocket
Materials and Techniques
Silk; hand-woven satin, hand-sewn
Brief Description
Pair of woman's pockets made of white silk satin, ca.1760, British
Physical Description
Pair of women's pockets of white silk satin, the edges and openings bound with white silk twill ribbon. They are sewn to a ribbon tie of white silk taffeta ribbon, which has subsequently broken off at each end and between the pockets.
Credit line
Given by Mrs J. Bentley
Object history
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.
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.175&A-1969

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record createdDecember 20, 2004
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