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Bag

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1625-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk satin with silver and silver-gilt threads, metal purl and pearls, hand sewn, lined with silk, padded

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Sir Frederick Richmond, Bt

  • Museum number:

    T.51&A-1954

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 9 []

In the 17th century decorative purses such as this one were rarely used to carry money, as their wealthy owners engaged in few commercial exchanges requiring cash. In addition to serving as 'sweet bags' or 'gift wrapping', purses sometimes functioned as sewing kits that held needles, thread and tiny scissors. The attachment of a pin cushion to this purse suggests that it might have been used as a sewing kit, or kept on the dressing table to hold pins for fastening clothing.

The purse and pin cushion are made of satin and embroidered in a pattern of birds and flowers with silver thread, silver-gilt purl (tiny tubes of tightly coiled metal) and freshwater pearls. Both purse and pin cushion have a string of flat braid of beige silk, to attach them to a belt if required.

Physical description

Flat and square bag and separate pin cushion of blue silk satin hand-embroidered on both sides in a pattern of birds and flowers with silver and silver-gilt thread, metal purl and freshwater pearls. The bag is lined with brown silk. The bag and pin cushion are trimmed with flat braid and finials of beige silk and silver thread. Draw-sting of silk braid. Padded.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1625-1650 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk satin with silver and silver-gilt threads, metal purl and pearls, hand sewn, lined with silk, padded

Descriptive line

Bag and pin cushion of embroidered silk satin with silver and silver-gilt threads, England, 1625-1650

Materials

Silk satin; Silver thread; Silver-gilt thread; Freshwater pearl

Techniques

Hand sewing; Hand embroidery

Categories

Embroidery; Needlework accessories; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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