Collection Online

Purse
(early 17th century)

Artist/s name
Medium
linen, silk (thread, lining), gilt-metal (thread), seed pearls
Measurements
40.0 x 13.6 x 1.8 cm
Place/s of Execution
(England)
Accession Number
D59-1970
Department
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1970
Gallery location
NGV Kids Gallery
Ground Level, NGV International
About

This small square purse is typical of bags of the period, sometimes described as ‘sweet bags’ because they held sweet powders to scent clothes and linen. A single plant laden with flowers and leaves fills the surface. These tent-stitched flowers contrast with the background which is worked extravagantly in expensive silver thread using Gobelin stitch. The once-bright gold and silver stems are worked in a variety of plaited braid stitches. One solitary sequin remains, presumably the sole survivor of many others which would have made this bag even more luxurious and glittering.

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)