Object details

Pocket; Mid 18th Century; CG1.b
About this object
Loft caviety, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England The pocket is pear shaped. Objects would have been taken in and out by the user through a vertical slit, at the top of one side. The outer fabric is undyed, cream coloured, woven celluloisic fibre, with a flower bud pattern block printed in dark pink. The lining is yellow silk, which is self patterned with interlocking crosses to make a diamond pattern. The pocket is decorated with braid, around the vertical opening, across the top and around the edge of the pear shape. The braid has degraded, but it is possible to tell from a piece concealed beneath a seam that it was plain woven and that the fibres used were blue and white around the vertial opening and along the top, and pink and white around the edge. The combination of two different coloured threads created a chequered pattern. Fragments of two ties remain, a tie made from yellow silk attached to the blue and white braid across the top of the pocket and beige silk tie attached to the braid decorating the vertical opening. The yellow silk is likely to have been part of the tie that would secure the pocket around the waist. It is now known whether the beige silk tie served a decorative or functional purpose. The uneven shape of the pocket suggests that it was probably home-made. One side of the yellow lining is constructed from two pieces of fabric seamed together, which indicates it may have been made using scraps. Following interventive conservation treatment the pocket is in a stable condition. It is still very fragile and should not be handled unless necessary, but it is safe to display. The pocket was treated by Anna Harrison in 1998, under the supervision of conservator Dinah Eastop. To stabilise the object and reduce the rate of decay, loose particulate soiling was removed using tweezers and vacuum suction. The pocket was then immersed in water to slacken creases and remove soiling. The immersion in water was only for a short period of time due to the fragility of the object and for the same reason mechanical action was kept to a minimum. A support stitch treatment was undertaken to consolidate particularly delicate areas. Padded forms were made from conservation standard materials to support the pocket from inside and prevent further creasing, it was then placed on a specially made and shaped padded board. ----- This cache was discovered in 1994. It was concealed in the attic space of a house in East St.Helen Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in a wall cavity filled with hops. The house is owned by Oxfordshire Preservation Trust, who uncovered the group of objects while undertaking restoration work. The finds were passed to the custodianship of Abingdon Museum, who contacted Dinah Eastop, conservator at The Textile Conservation Centre for help with their identification. Dinah co-ordinated research into the three textile artefacts from the cache which was taken on as a student project by Anna Harrison. Following this research project the cache was returned to Abingdon Museum, where it is displayed today.
Date made
Mid 18th Century
Place made
Medium and materials
natural fiber -fiber silk (textile)
Length 29cm Width 15.1cm
Abingdon Cache
Object Type
Concealed Garments
Object number