This boils down to what it means to be pristine/handled. According to the manual:
As soon as the player picks up an object (or otherwise moves it from its original location), [we] say that the object has become handled
If the original location is somewhere in the player’s inventory, the object is technically still in its pristine condition. The question is, does this definition make sense, or should it be changed?
I think it might depend on circumstances. When we examine the initially-held wallet, perhaps we want the receipt inside to call attention to itself. But, because this is the initial state, examining the wallet with the receipt inside is an action that the story author can anticipate, just like examining a bookshelf in a room. It will be the first impression of the wallet, and thus, the author might want to provide custom text for the whole experience:
Imitation leather. Jammed zipper.
(if) (#receipt is pristine) (then)
One pitiful receipt inside.
In other situations, bland default descriptions could be sufficient, and in those cases it would be easy to enable them on a per-object basis, using
(* is handled). The following, however, is currently disallowed by the compiler:
($Obj is handled)
*($Obj is nested #heldby #player)
The error message is: “Initial state of dynamic predicate depends on the state of another dynamic predicate, ($ has parent $)”. But perhaps this should be supported; I just didn’t think of this use case before.