18th Century Pockets, Bags and Muffs

“Lucy Locket lost her pocket
Lydia Fisher found it,
Not a bit of money in it
Only ‘broidery round it.”

Nursery Rhyme

pockets1

Bags and purses were not very popular during the 18th Century since the clothes of both men and women had ample pockets. The distinctive feature about women’s pockets in the 18th Century is that they were not sewn into the garment but hung from the waist under the side hoops and were reached through small slits in the skirt.

Some examples of bags and purses from Diderot:

bag1 bag2

  bag4 bags3
Small items could also be secreted in muffs which were used by the fashion conscious members of both sexes for most of the century. Muffs were of various sizes, and always made of fur.

muffshop
A shop for fur muffs (click for larger image)

hogarthfop
A fop from Hogarth wears French Fashions, including a muff, making him a joke among the English

beavercoatandshortcoat
A mid-century Beaver hat, short cloak and fur muff

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