Not currently on display at the V&A

Gaming Purse

1660-1700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This is a special purse for use at the gaming table, to hold money or counters. Its style is quite different from other 17th-century purses. The flat, circular base with sides gathered on a drawstring prevented spilling or revealing the contents.

Materials & Making
This gaming purse is quite plain, with no embroidery, only a twist of copper gilt thread. Its lack of decoration may have been deliberate, to deceive other players into thinking its owner had little money. Copper gilt was a cheap substitute for the precious metal thread made of silver-gilt.

Social Class
Playing and betting on card games was a socially acceptable pastime for the wealthy in the late 17th century. Along with dancing, riding and the theatre, it was an amusement for those classes that did not have to work.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk, pasteboard, copper, gold; hand-woven velvet, couched
Brief Description
Gaming purse, velvet, trimmed with copper-gilt thread, France, 1660-1700
Physical Description
Gaming purse of green silk velvet, lined with white silk taffeta. It has circular base reinforced with pasteboard; the sides pleated and pulled together with drawstrings of narrow copper gilt braid and 2 spherical tassels of silver wire, net and filé and purl. The sides and top edge are couched with copper gilt braid.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 9.5cm
  • Height: 9.0cm (approx)
Dimensions checked: measured; 30/03/1999 by DW
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Gaming or gambling with cards was a popular 17th-century pastime. A gentleman or lady who did not participate in games such as 'Quadrille' and 'Basset' would have been considered 'low-bred and hardly fit for conversation' according to 'The Compleat Gamester', published in 1674. Typically, a gaming purse had a flat, circular base with sides gathered on a drawstring.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Probably made in France
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
This is a special purse for use at the gaming table, to hold money or counters. Its style is quite different from other 17th-century purses. The flat, circular base with sides gathered on a drawstring prevented spilling or revealing the contents.

Materials & Making
This gaming purse is quite plain, with no embroidery, only a twist of copper gilt thread. Its lack of decoration may have been deliberate, to deceive other players into thinking its owner had little money. Copper gilt was a cheap substitute for the precious metal thread made of silver-gilt.

Social Class
Playing and betting on card games was a socially acceptable pastime for the wealthy in the late 17th century. Along with dancing, riding and the theatre, it was an amusement for those classes that did not have to work.
Collection
Accession Number
2010-1899

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL