The sign of the unicorn. A fabric shop for 18th century reenactors and historians.

18th and Early 19th Century Ready Made Items

Pocketbooks | Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

Pocketbooks

Pocketbooks (what we call wallets today) were commonly used in the 18th to early 19th century in a great variety of styles from plain to quite elaborate. Usually pocketbooks were worked in either leather or needlework. For example from personal communication with Mike Barbieri in the 1775 New England Chronicle, or Essex Gazette an ad included, "Stolen . . .  a worked pocket-book, containing about 15s. in money, and inlisting orders, signed by Ezekiel Scott, Capt."

Many pocketbooks were fairly plain but others were very decorative worked leather. Some leather pocketbooks were embroidered and some closed with a metal clasp of brass, silver or gold. For example see the 1757-1758 trade card of Peter Jacob at the Bible and Letter-Case in Bartholomew Close, London.

A red leather pocketbook with buff colored interior.

Small Red Leather Pocketbook with Buff Interior

Red leather pocketbooks were quite common in the 18th to early 19th century in a great variety of styles from plain to quite elaborate. This one has two pockets along with a pencil holder at the top. This pocketbook is made to period measurements so modern money will have to be folded once first to fit the pockets. For a written example of their use this is taken from London's The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, of 1763 in a "grand larceny" trial "I'll search the gentleman myself. It was a red leather pocketbook with the notes in it as mentioned in the indictment."

$44.00

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Large Red Leather Pocketbook with Buff Interior

Red leather pocketbooks were quite common in the 18th to early 19th century in a great variety of styles from plain to quite elaborate. This one has two pockets along with a pencil holder at the top. This pocketbook is made to modern measurements so modern money will fit into the pockets. For a written example of their use this is taken from London's The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, of 1763 in a "grand larceny" trial "I'll search the gentleman myself. It was a red leather pocketbook with the notes in it as mentioned in the indictment."

$44.00

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A red leather pocketbook with buff colored interior.
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Large Red Leather Pocketbook with Green Interior

Red leather pocketbooks were quite common in the 18th to early 19th century in a great variety of styles from plain to quite elaborate. This one has two pockets along with a pencil holder at the top. This pocketbook is made to modern measurements so modern money will fit into the pockets. For a written example of their use this is taken from London's The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, of 1763 in a "grand larceny" trial "I'll search the gentleman myself. It was a red leather pocketbook with the notes in it as mentioned in the indictment."

$44.00

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A red leather pocketbook with green colored interior.
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Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

Stockings

White wool stockings.

Natural White Wool Stockings

These smooth machine knit creamy white wool stockings will keep your feet warm and comfortable. The book Cloth and Costume determined that white was likely the most common color of stocking. Cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1775 "Run away . . .  three Dutch servants; two . . .  man and wife . . .  the first . . .  had on . . .  white yarn stockings . . .  his wife . . .  had on . . .  white yarn stockings . . .  The other . . .  is a Butcher by trade . . .  had on, and took with him . . .  one pair of white yarn stockings".

$34.00

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Natural white ribbed wool stockings.

Natural White Ribbed Wool Stockings

new A smaller foot size needing a tall stocking!

These smooth machine knit creamy white wool stockings have a smaller foot size (6-8) for those petite feet or young adult and will keep your feet warm and comfortable. The book Cloth and Costume determined that white was likely the most common color of stocking. Cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1775 "Run away . . .  three Dutch servants; two . . .  man and wife . . .  the first . . .  had on . . .  white yarn stockings . . .  his wife . . .  had on . . .  white yarn stockings . . .  The other . . .  is a Butcher by trade . . .  had on, and took with him . . .  one pair of white yarn stockings".

$24.00

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Dark Grey Wool Stockings

These smooth machine knit gray wool stockings will keep your feet warm and comfortable. A study of runaways advertised in Rhode Island Newspapers found gray to be the second most common color of stocking from 1760 to 1783 (Stockings of Runaways Advertised in Rhode Island by Paul Dickfoss The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXXI No. 3, Autumn 2001). Cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls, The Connecticut Courant of 1777 included "Deserted from Capt. Beardslee’s company in Col. Swift’s regiment, on Wm. Bostwick, an Englishman . . .  had on . . .  gray stockings".

$34.00

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Dark gray machine knit stockings.
Dark grey wool ribbed stockings.

Dark Grey Ribbed Wool Stockings

new A smaller foot size needing a tall stocking!

These smooth machine knit gray wool stockings have a smaller foot size (6-8) for those petite feet or young adults. They will keep your feet warm and comfortable. A study of runaways advertised in Rhode Island Newspapers found gray to be the second most common color of stocking from 1760 to 1783 (Stockings of Runaways Advertised in Rhode Island by Paul Dickfoss The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXXI No. 3, Autumn 2001). Cited in Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls, The Connecticut Courant of 1777 included "Deserted from Capt. Beardslee’s company in Col. Swift’s regiment, on Wm. Bostwick, an Englishman . . .  had on . . .  gray stockings".

$24.00

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Grey Wool Stockings

These smooth machine knit light grey wool stockings will keep your feet warm and comfortable. A study on runaways found that grey was the second most common color of stockings from 1760 to 1783 (Stockings of Runaways Advertised in Rhode Island by Paul Dickfoss The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXXI No. 3, Autumn 2001). From personal communication with Mike Barbieri The Boston Gazette of 1764 included "Ran-away . . .  in the Province of New Hampshire . . .  a Servant Lad . . .  Had on . . .  grey Stockings."

$34.00

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Gray machine knit stockings.
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Black Wool Stockings

These smooth machine knit black wool stockings will keep your feet warm and comfortable and will be easy to keep clean after a weekend in the mud. A study of runaways advertised in Rhode Island Newspapers found black made up 10% of stockings from 1760 to 1783 (Stockings of Runaways Advertised in Rhode Island by Paul Dickfoss The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXXI No. 3, Autumn 2001). Cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls, The Connecticut Courant of 1777 included "Run away . . .  a servant girl . . .  had on, and took with her . . .  black yarn stockings".

$34.00

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Black machine knit stockings.
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Dark Indigo Blue Wool Stockings

These smooth machine knit dark indigo blue wool stockings will keep your feet warm and comfortable. The book Cloth and Costume determined blue was a close second for the most common color of stocking among Pennsylvanians from 1750 to 1800. A study on runaways found that blue was the third most common color of stockings from 1760 to 1783 (Stockings of Runaways Advertised in Rhode Island by Paul Dickfoss The Brigade Dispatch, Vol. XXXI No. 3, Autumn 2001). Cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls in The New Jersey Gazette of 1778 "Ran away . . .  a Scotch servant girl . . .  Had on . . .  blue yarn stockings".

$34.00

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Dark indigo blue machine knit stockings.
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White silk stockings.

White Silk Stockings

These smooth machine knit creamy white silk stockings feel ever so soft next to your skin and are just right for a hot weekend. Cited in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey of 1767 during deposition in a theft trial a woman "crying old clothes" reported, "he offered me a pair of white silk stockings for 3 s. I said, I'll give you two; he agreed for that; said he, I have another pair to sell; I said, I'll buy them; said he, I have got eleven pair more, and put them in my hands".

$20.00

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White Silk Clocked Stockings

These smooth machine knit creamy white silk stockings have a subtle clock at the ankle and feel ever so soft next to your skin and are just right for a hot weekend. Cited in The Proceedings of the Old Bailey of 1752 "I lost seven pair of white silk stockings, out of my shop". There was a plain white pair of clocked "Silk Stockings taken from the Prize Ship 'Hannah" in 1781. This ship was headed to America with among other things personal luxury items for British officers stationed in New York.

$24.00

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White clocked silk machine knit stockings.
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Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

Neckwear

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100% Cotton, square
Ladies Maid Cotton Handkerchief
$38

new Pretty sprigs!

This 36" (91 cm) square handkerchief is inspired by the handkerchief worn about the neck of A Ladies Maid Purchasing a Leek printed in 1772. Printed handkerchiefs tend to be worn by both men and women of the working class. Starting about 1800 these began to be called "neckerchief" although the term "handkerchief" persisted to the end of the 19th century. In the 18th century, when called "kerchief" it was preceded by the separate word "hand" making it "hand kerchief" despite the fact they were intended for both pocket as well as to be worn about the neck. These hand block printed cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1776 Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included “Run away . . .  an indented servant girl . . .  a Scotch woman . . .  had on, and took with her . . .  two handkerchiefs, one blue and white, the other red and white” cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

Hand wash in warm water.

A sprigged cotton handkerchief in red on a white ground for historical reenactors and museum interpretors.

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100% Cotton, square
Blue Stamped Cotton Handkerchief
$38

new Rich colors!

This 36" (91 cm) square hand block print handkerchief is inspired by several extant and illustrated handkerchiefs with borders and sprigged centers. Printed handkerchiefs were worn by both men and women of the working class. These cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1773 ” Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included "Run away . . .  a Dutch servant girl . . .  had on . . .  [a] blue stamped handkerchief" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

Hand wash in warm water.

Printed handkerchief in teal green and red tones for historical reenactors and museum interpretors.

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100% Cotton, square
Striped Cotton Handkerchief
$38

new Simple elegance!

This 36" (91 cm) square hand block printed handkerchief is inspired by several extant and illustrated handkerchiefs with partial stripe borders or that show stripes within the print such as the handkerchief worn by the black sailor in John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark painted in 1778. Printed handkerchiefs were worn by both men and women of the working class. These cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1770 Pennsylvania Chronicle an ad included "Absconded from her master’s service . . .  an English servant girl . . .  Had on and took away with her . . .  one white striped kenting handkerchief, one new bandano ditto" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

Hand wash in warm water.

Printed handkerchief in teal green and red tones for historical reenactors and museum interpretors.

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Handkerchief with a red sprigged center with a flowered border.

Red Stamped Handkerchief

new Now in stock!

This hand block print handkerchief is inspired by several extant and illustrated handkerchiefs with borders and small sprigged centers. Printed handkerchiefs were worn by both men and women of the working class. These cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1776 Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included "Run away . . .  an indented servant girl . . .  a Scotch woman . . .  had on, and took with he . . .  two handkerchiefs, one blue and white, the other red and white" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

$38.00

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100% Cotton, square
French Cotton Handkerchief
$38

new Rich colors!

This 36" (91 cm) square hand block printed handkerchief is inspired by an extant handkerchief at the Museon Arlaten dated c. 1785 but similar ones are seen much earlier. Printed handkerchiefs tend to be worn by both men and women of the working class. Starting about 1800 these began to be called "neckerchief" although the term "handkerchief" persisted to the end of the 19th century. In the 18th century, when called "kerchief" it was preceded by the separate word "hand" making it "hand kerchief" although they were intended to be worn both at the neck and in the pocket. These cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1776 Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included "Run away . . .  an indented servant girl . . .  a Scotch woman . . .  had on, and took with her . . .  two handkerchiefs, one blue and white, the other red and white" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

Hand wash in warm water.

Printed handkerchief in teal green and red tones for historical reenactors and museum interpretors.

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100% Cotton, square
Captain Wilkinson Cotton Handkerchief
$38

new Red resist dye ground!

This hand block printed handkerchief is inspired by the neck handkerchief worn by Captain Andrew Wilkinson dated 1755 by James Macardell at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Little may be seen of the actual handkerchief he wears but it does show a dark ground with what appear to be the edges of rounded flowers. Nonetheless, printed handkerchiefs were worn by both men and women of the working class. These cotton handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around and are made of a very soft, fine handkerchief cotton, finer than many others being sold so that when tied or bunched up at the back of your neck the handkerchief still sits well. In the 1770 Pennsylvania Gazette an ad included "Run away . . .  a native Irish Servant Woman . . .  had on, and took with her . . .  one large Kenting Handkerchief, with a flowered Border" cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls.

Hand wash in warm water.

A flowered cotton handkerchief in yellow and pea green on red ground for historical reenactors and museum interpretors.

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100% Silk, square
Black Silk Handkerchief
$15

Black silk handkerchiefs were some of the most common handkerchiefs worn about the neck of both men and women throughout the 18th century. These handkerchiefs are 35" square which are full enough to easily tie about the neck. Black silk was especially worn by sailors but black silk handkerchiefs were often worn along with black silk bonnets and hats by women. Starting about 1800 these began to be called "neckerchief" although the term "handkerchief" persisted to the end of the 19th century. In the 18th century, when called "kerchief" it was preceded by the separate word "hand" making it "hand kerchief". These silk handkerchiefs have a rolled hem all the way around. In one corner is a "Made in India" label that can easily be cut out. From personal communication with Mike Barbieri in the 1775 Connecticut Journal, an ad included "Runaway . . .  two indented Servant Men, one . . .  a weaver by trade . . .  had on a . . .  black silk handkerchief".

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100% Silk, square
White Silk Handkerchief
$15-$20

White silk handkerchiefs were some of the most common handkerchiefs worn around the neck of both men and women throughout the 18th century. Handkerchiefs of 35" square (medium) are sufficient to easily tie about the neck, but at 44" square are large enough for many woman to tuck into the back of your apron as are seen in some artwork. These are prepared to be dyed if you would like although there is no need to dye them. These silk handkerchiefs have a hand sewn rolled hem all the way around. In one corner is a "Made in India" label that can easily be cut out. Cited in the book Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls in the 1775 Pennsylvania Ledger, an ad included "Run away . . .  a Dutch Servant Woman . . .  Had on and took with her . . .  a white silk handkerchief".

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Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

Household

A tin of Poland starch.

Poland Starch

Blueing and starching our laundry is a bit of a forgotten art. Today we grab a spray bottle and call it good, but our foremothers had a much different approach. Along with this tin of starch are directions for starching your linens in a period correct manner. A trade card for Nathan Drake, colour man, at the White Lyon in James Street, Covent Garden near Long Acre, London advertises that it "Sells all sorts of . . . Poland & common starch & c."

$10.00/tin

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$20.00/kit of both Prussian Blue and Poland Starch

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A bottle of Prussian blue.

Prussian Blue

Blueing and starching our laundry is a bit of a forgotten art. Today we dump in some modern chemical bleach and call it good, but our foremothers had a much different approach. Along with this bottle of Prussian blue are directions for starching and blueing your linens in a period correct manner. A trade card for Robert Jenkin, oil-man, at the Oil Jar, in Fleet Street near the Market, London advertises that it he "Sells all sorts of fine oils likewise . . . powland &c. comn. starch . . . common powder blue". No need to fear, there is no oil in our blueing. This oil man sold more than oil, he sold all sorts of household items.

$12.00/bottle

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$20.00/kit of both Prussian Blue and Poland Starch

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Bee's wax candles.

Candles, Bee's Wax

Bee's wax candles are clean, natural, dripless and slow burning. Pure bee's wax candles are very slow burning so you can expect an hour of beautiful soft yellow light per inch. These candles are 6 inches long so expect each to burn (when properly trimmed and erect) for 6 hours.

Bee's wax was used to wax and smooth the outside of linen thread so the thread does not fray as it is pulled through the fabric. A candle may be used for this purpose just as a cake is. Just hold the thread against the candle with your finger and pull the thread. Coat both sides and sew. Wax may also be used to initially hold thread on thread winders and to keep tops on containers.

$2.50/each
$27.00/dozen

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Individual and paper packs of one dozen sulfur matches.

Sulfur Matches, One Dozen

Sometimes found under the name of spunks these matches began to appear at the end of the 17th century. They were handy in that a spark caught in char cloth will easily and quickly ignite the sulfur on the match igniting the wood. These matches are covered in sulfur at both ends so that two ignitions can be gotten from each match. In The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London of 1715, in a theft trial a witness stated that when the prisoner was searched "a Tobacco-Box, with Tinder and Matches in it, were found in his Pocket."

$5.00/dozen

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Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

Hand Knit Caps

Hand knit completely US made English stripe cap.

Striped English Outdoor Caps

These caps are one of a kind, hand knit in the Illinois Territory and fulled of 100% American raised wool into dense, warm, water resistant caps. These caps have been documented from the 1740s to the 1790s and were worn mostly by English landsman but sometimes by sailors. After knitting the caps have been fulled at which point head size is measured. There is some stretch still in the caps so hat size is fairly loose. The pattern is developed by Colleen Humphreys. For a period example (thanks to the citations provided by Mike Barbieri) advertised in The Boston News-Letter of 1764 "Ran-away from his Master . . .  a Negro Man . . .  He had on . . .  a striped worsted Cap".

$55.00/each

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Add Blue, White and Red Hand Knit 22" English Stripe Cap to Cart

Add London Street Scene Hand Knit 19-26" English Cap to Cart

Stockings | Neckwear | Household | Hand Knit Caps

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