Purse thumbnail 1
Purse thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Bags: Inside Out, Room 40

Purse

1634 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The most luxurious embroidered purses, made in leather, velvet and silk, were used by both men and women. Women's purses were similar to those carried by men, but smaller, taking the form of tasselled bags that closed with tasselled drawstrings. These were often embroidered, while beadwork on leather was also popular. The decoration on this purse depicts a sprig of green and yellow acorns between a pair of birds with lozenges and flowers. It is inscribed 'I PRAY GOD TO B(sic) MY GUIDE 1634'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Leather, embroidered with glass beads, with knotted thread drawstrings
Brief Description
glass beads, 1634, English; Inscribed "I pray God to b my guide 1634"
Physical Description
Drawstring leather purse embroidered with glass beads. A sprig of green and yellow acorns appears between a pair of birds with lozenges and flowers, inscribed 'I PRAY TO GOD TO B(sic) MY GUIDE 1634'.
Gallery Label
A number of early 17th-century beaded bags bear mottos or expressions relating to charity, friendship or luck. These two examples carry the messages, 'I pray God to B my guide 1634' [T.55-1927] and 'Hit or miss there it is 1628' [T.250-1960]. They would have been used to carry either sweet-smelling herbs or small gifts. V&A, Room 40, Bags: Inside Out. (12/2020)
Summary
The most luxurious embroidered purses, made in leather, velvet and silk, were used by both men and women. Women's purses were similar to those carried by men, but smaller, taking the form of tasselled bags that closed with tasselled drawstrings. These were often embroidered, while beadwork on leather was also popular. The decoration on this purse depicts a sprig of green and yellow acorns between a pair of birds with lozenges and flowers. It is inscribed 'I PRAY GOD TO B(sic) MY GUIDE 1634'.
Bibliographic Reference
John Lea Nevinson, Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries, Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Textiles, London: HMSO, 1938, p.100, plate LXXII
Collection
Accession Number
T.55-1927

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 25, 2003
Record URL