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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1600-1625 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered canvas with silk and metal threads, purl and spangles, and lined with silk taffeta and with plaited silk strings

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Margaret Simeon

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

In the seventeenth century, needle lace and embroidery patterns were disseminated through pattern books such as The Needle's Excelency published by James Boler (1631). Many seventeenth-century embroidered purses have been collected and prized for the livelieness of their embroidery and tiny scale. They were particularly valued by Edwardian collectors, such as Lord Lever, who formed large collections of sixteenth- and seventeenth- century embroidery.

Physical description

Square flat purse of canvas with an embroidered ground of silver thread. A raised pattern of scrolling chains of silver-gilt purl surround honeysuckle, borage, rose, gilly flower, rose hips, grapes, pea pods and a butterfly. These are embroidered with detached leaves and petals in coloured silks, silver thread, silver-gilt thread, purl and spangles. The purse is lined with salmon pink silk taffeta. Flat salmon pink silk braid forms the ties with two pear-shaped finials covered in silver thread and coloured silks.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1600-1625 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered canvas with silk and metal threads, purl and spangles, and lined with silk taffeta and with plaited silk strings


Length: 14.5 cm, Width: 12.6 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1992/524.

Descriptive line

Square flat canvas purse embroidered with silk and metal threads, England, ca. 1600-1625


Canvas; Silk thread; Metal thread; Taffeta; Silk (textile); Spangles


Hand sewing; Embroidered; Plaiting; Lined

Subjects depicted

Butterfly; Leaves; Flowers


Accessories; Embroidery; Textiles; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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