Man's Pocketbook

Made for George Gray, American, 1725 - 1800

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

c. 1760

Linen plain weave with wool embroidery in Irish and cross stitches; silk plain weave, card, wool twill tape

Opened: 8 1/4 x 7 1/8 inches (21.0 x 18.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Miss Helen Hamilton Robins, 1933

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Pocketbooks like this one carried currency, papers, and other valuables of both men and women in the mid- to late eighteenth century, and were often worked in Irish stitch (also known as bargello), which is hardwearing and can be endlessly varied. This example was made for Philadelphian George Gray, who operated Gray's Ferry across the Schuylkill River and served as speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly. Although the skilled female family member or friend who made it misspelled Gray's first name, she created a vivacious and striking object.

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