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Purse

  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1660-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Velvet, trimmed with copper-gilt thread

  • Museum number:

    2010-1899

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

Velvet drawstring purse

Place of Origin

France (probably, made)

Date

1660-1700 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Velvet, trimmed with copper-gilt thread

Dimensions

Diameter: 9.5 cm

Object history note

Probably made in France

Descriptive line

Gaming purse, velvet, trimmed with copper-gilt thread, France, 1660-1700

Labels and date

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]

Materials

Velvet; Copper-gilt thread

Techniques

Weaving

Subjects depicted

Gambling (concept); Recreation; Chance

Categories

Accessories; Personal accessories; Games; Entertainment & Leisure; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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