Pocketbook

Betty Lewis's Embroidered Pocket Book
Silk threads on linen ground
Probably Virginia
ca. 1750-1780
Gift of Miss Nancy Newell &
Miss Priscilla Newell, 1991
Stitched in silk threads with the owner's name, "Betty Lewis," this pocketbook may have been executed by her own hand. From an early age, girls were trained in needlework. While all girls learned "plain work," or utilitarian sewing, only young ladies of the gentry class would have the free time to learn and practice "fancy work," or decorative needlework. "Fancy work" could be used to decorate useful objects such as this pocketbook, or to create intricate needlework pictures.

Mrs. Lewis would have used this pocketbook to carry currency, papers, jewelry, sewing items, or other small items.