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History of the Wallet – The Renaissance Period

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Staci Wilson There have been 0 comments

“Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, wherein he puts alms for oblivion, a great-sized monster of ingratitudes.” -- Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1609)


These days we have nicer things to put in our wallets. Mainly, paper money and credit cards. But back in the Renaissance Period, things were different. With the increase in use of metals as currencies, wallets were designed to include heavy coins and the bearer’s statement of accounts. That’s how the word budget came from “bowgett” -- bowgett was another word for moneybag, or wallet.


Wallets were vitally important to men on the move in the Renaissance era, since pockets, were only sewn into women’s dresses, and didn’t often appear in male clothing until the 17th century. It was at about this time in history that wallets began to take on some semblance of the shape we know presently, as they evolved after the introduction of paper currency to the New World in the 1600s. The first paper currency was introduced by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690 -- however, fold-over billfolds had actually been used some time before, in 1500s Europe.



Those first wallets were made primarily of cow or horse hide and included a small pouch for printed calling cards (to “call” someone back then meant to actually go and visit them -- this was long before the invention of the telephone).


If you have a lot of calling cards, our Sallas Long Wallet will be the perfect choice for you. Its classic, sleek design is especially becoming in black or dark brown (though we can make it custom-colored) and it boasts 1 accordion zipper pocket compartment with interior insert and card slots; 1 zipper accordion coin pouch; 20 card slots total; and 1 ID window. Production lead time is 25-30 days

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Find Staci Layne Wilson on and on Twitter at @StaciWilson

This post was posted in Fashion, Showcase

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