Antique Textiles, 18th Century American Needlework Pocketbook
  • In the 18th century, fancy needlework represented a well-schooled woman's contribution to the beauty of family possessions.  Women stitched stunning chair covers, bed furnishings, floor rugs, fancy embroidered pictures, women's pockets and pocket books which were most often carried by men.  These envelope-shaped pocketbooks or wallets were used to carry money as well important documents which today, we would keep in a safe or a safe deposit box.  Since normal households did not have access to safes, this allowed men to carry these documents on their person so they were safe from fire or theft.  When women carried these envelope-shaped pocketbooks, they were most often used to carry jewelry.

    Today I am listing 3 of these 18th century American needlework wallets.  This wallet has the most thread loss of the three but it is my favorite because of the bold colors.  It is worked in salmon, pink, rose, greens, yellows, black, purples and blues.  The interior is yellow glazed wool with a compartment divider in green glazed wool.  The pocket book is bound with green twilled tape and has a length of the same tape that would have wound it closed.  The tape used to close the wallet has lost much of its length and has some fraying.  Please look at the photos carefully because there is quite a bit of loss.  If you don't buy it, it can stay here because I'm in love with it!  It measures 5" x 8 3/4".  This and the two other pocket books that I'm listing were found stuffed inside a stenciled papier mâché purse in the upstairs ball room of the Silas Hastings Tavern in Boylestown, Massachusetts.  Great stocking stuffer!

    (#5257)     Sale Pending