This is a charming pocket from the 18th century which would have been worn between the outer gown and the petticoats. It would have been accessed by a slit in the side seam of the outer gown with the hand being able to be placed through the slit of the pocket to reach the contents. Such items were typical during the 18th century era when the pannier gown was in fashion. This single pocket has a square upper section joined to the teardrop-shaped pocket with its edged slit at the front and is hand-stitched. Two tapes attach to either side at the top and these would have been used to tie the pocket around the waist. It is of interest that a special exhibition of pockets was held in 2006 at the Bath Museum featuring embroidered 18th century pockets and a catalogue was published for this. The little rhyme “Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it…” refers to these pockets and they were also vulnerable to the pickpocket who could infiltrate a hand between the gown and the petticoat to remove either the contents of the pocket or cut the band to remove the whole item! This example shows some signs of wear which is apparent with some fraying at the bottom of the slit and the attachment of the two tapes, and there is some age-spotting consistent with age. Despite this, here is a piece of fashion history from an earlier era which would add to the interest of a collection of 18th century costume. This is one of three exceptionally rare examples currently listed in my shop which have taken many, many years to find. Total length 16 ins (40.5cm). Weight 20 grams. Please note that this lovely item has been in storage, so once shipped it may still retain a whiff of mothballs. This should settle with airing.
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