Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Stocking purse

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Crocheted silk, with carved wooden tassels and sliders

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 15, shelf DR2

Object Type
Stocking purses are also known as misers' or wallet purses. The majority were netted, but some were knitted or crocheted, like this one. Once worked, the elongated tube was put on an expandable purse stretcher to shape it. It was then sewn up, leaving a central opening, and squeezed through a pair of rings known as sliders, which were used to secure and separate the different coins stored at either end. It could be carried in the hand, bag or pocket, or tucked over a belt. Many stocking purses were made as presents, and were thought a suitable object to give to a gentleman.

Materials & Making
Crochet is a type of needlework with an open, lacy appearance, which is formed with a hook and single length of thread making a series of loops, chains and knots. The technique developed out of 'tambouring', a type of embroidery, after the tambour hook began to be used to create series of loops, free from a ground fabric. This could then be used as a separate trimming, like lace, or made to form items like this purse. Crochet was thus added to the varieties of fancy needlework available to ladies, and instructions for making it can be found in manuals from the 1820s onwards.

Physical description

Crocheted silk purse with wooden tassels and sliders

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1800-1820 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Crocheted silk, with carved wooden tassels and sliders


Length: 27 cm, Width: 3.5 cm

Object history note

Made in Britain

Descriptive line

silk, 1800s, English

Labels and date

British Galleries:

Ladies in polite society were expected to be proficient in a wide range of needleworking skills. The graceful rhythm of techniques such as knotting or netting was thought to show off the elegance of a lady's hands. Embroidery, knitting and crochet are still current today. Knotting produced a decorative thread, with rows of little knots, that was sewn onto fabric. Fine net, made with thread from a decorative shuttle, was often further embroidered. [27/03/2003]


Silk (textile); Wood




Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.