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A peck of pocket books

January 31, 2010

Just launched for sale on our website– our new leather goods!

We’ve designed our wallet (or “pocket book”) to be based on the look of original eighteenth century pocket books. (Important documents, deeds, bank bills, love letters would all have been safely stowed in a pocket book.) We’ve taken the original period design feature of the three point flap and tab on the outside. And once opened up, our pocket book maintains the period design of having two separate compartments.

But we’ve brought our version up to date a little: one hand-tooled compartment has been stitched to provide slots for those modern new-fangled credit card thingies. (And there’s a bigger recess behind to hold bank notes.) The other compartment is a supple tan leather coin pocket….

Our colour combination, scarlet lined with a contrasting pale green, may seem a modern colourway, but was actually a popular 18th century colour choice. (Yes, even that bright a scarlet! It is only age and use that has darkened a lot of the scarlet eighteenth century examples that remain. You can just see the scarlet ink-stained period original we have used as a prop in the top left corner of the shot below).

That same shot above shows our business card holder (or calling card holder, perhaps?). We’ve taken the external elements of the pocket book design, but inside (as you can see to the left) there’s a rigid recess to protect your cards which is lined with hand marbled paper.  The flap is lined in contrast green, and embossed in gilt with Pimpernel’s mark.Apart from leather pocket books, examples of eighteenth century pocket books remain which are made out of fabric and beautifully embroidered. Sometimes by the giver, to be given perhaps as a prized gift to loved ones, or perhaps purchased for important occasions such as housewarming or wedding gifts. (Ah, gift giving! With Valentine’s Day approaching, Pimpernel thinks a pocket book could be just the ticket…)

For more beautiful period examples of eighteenth century pocket books, both leather and fabric, check out the following links:

and a beautiful example embroidered by Marie Antoinette in the Temple prison:

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