Monday, May 5, 2014

History's Runway: The Parrot Bag, 1790-1800

Hand Bag
England, 1790-1800
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Fashions of the late Eighteenth to early Nineteenth Centuries saw a transition between hidden interior pockets and external reticules and handbags as a means of storing personal items which were needed on a daily basis. While interior pockets remained in garments, reticules allowed for more portability and versatility as well as a means to show off a bit.

Early reticules like this one still resembled pockets. Still, they were often embroidered and adorned with beads and spangles. They usually closed with drawstrings. This bad is embroidered with a Grecian urn billowing over with flowers. A large parrot adorns the center of the bag. Pink tassels give the bag even more character.

This is the work of a English needlework and was probably made in the home between 1790 and 1800.

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