Pair of watch pockets, 1860s

A pair of embroidered watch pockets with glass beads, 1860s


Pocket watches were primarily used in a functional capacity for telling the time however, pocket watches also conveyed social status and wealth. Initially, this was reflected in the cost of pocket watches due to the intricate and small mechanisms within the pocket watch requiring specialist skills. To further express an individual's style and wealth, the watch's accessories could be customised for example the type of chain, the design of the watch and the way the watch is stored. Consequently, watch pockets also served a dual purpose of protecting the pocket watch when not in use and further showing the individual's wealth. Yet, these pockets may have been used instead as wall pockets, as indicated by the hook, in which a range of alternative storage products such as matches. 


The design incorporates white and clear glass beads which are embroidered onto a red wool canvas with beaded tassels. Unfortunately, the colour has faded along the edges of the watch pockets making the intended contrast and aesthetic between the white and red colours reduced considerably. 

These objects were audited and researched as part of the NLHF Data Hunters and Story Gatherers. 

Made possible with Heritage Fund
A pair of white embroidered watch pockets with clear glass beads with a red wool stitched background.