Pockets thumbnail 1
Pockets thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Pockets

1700-1725 (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.

Pockets of the early 18th century show a variety of influences in their embroidery designs. Some come from imported Indian textiles, others from various types of British needlework found on both dress and furnishings. The stitched pattern of overlapping circles seen here can also be seen on quilted bed and cushion covers. The spiky flowers and leaves and use of small floral motifs show the influence of Indian printed cottons. Typical of pocket embroidery is the placement of a border around the edge and the pocket opening with a repeated design filling the centre.

The arrangement of the colours defining the motifs is slightly different on each pocket.


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

  • Pocket
  • Pocket
Materials and Techniques
Linen, hand-sewn with linen thread and embroidered in coloured silks, with silk ribbon and linen tape
Physical Description
Linen pockets embroidered with silk thread, bound with green silk ribbon and attached to linen tape ties. The ground has been quilted in a pattern of overlapping circles and embroidered with floral motifs.
Object history
Purchased from the artist Talbot Hughes in 1910.
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.



Pockets of the early 18th century show a variety of influences in their embroidery designs. Some come from imported Indian textiles, others from various types of British needlework found on both dress and furnishings. The stitched pattern of overlapping circles seen here can also be seen on quilted bed and cushion covers. The spiky flowers and leaves and use of small floral motifs show the influence of Indian printed cottons. Typical of pocket embroidery is the placement of a border around the edge and the pocket opening with a repeated design filling the centre.



The arrangement of the colours defining the motifs is slightly different on each pocket.
Collection
Accession Number
T.281&A-1910

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record createdFebruary 25, 2003
Record URL