Small elegant coin purses like this 19th century one were a traditional gift to a child upon their confirmation, and were thought of as the purse into which one's church tithe or offering for the poor would be carried to church. Quite often they were boxed along with a prayer book, or perhaps a little aide memoire (note book) similarly hand made, to keep calendar and appointments. Because it was a special prize, we often can find them in very nice condition and sometimes still housed in the original fitted presentation case. Many had tortoise shell or ivory covers, making them difficult to work with right now, but here we offer a lovely old mother of pearl one. The thing is, nothing makes a more fabulous gift to a bride as her "something old", or to her bridesmaids as their memento of the wedding. We wish we had the ability to list all we have. They're just stunningly beautiful to see and treasures to own and collect. This one dates c.1850-80, and is slightly less than perfect, but perfectly charming.
Very good condition for age and type. The hand carved floral garland-decorated serpentine form is spectacular and has only the one very tiny nip up near the push-button clasp. A natural pearl shell, you also see natural attributes such as where a tiny pearl had begun to form. Back cover is also very nicely preserved without any substantial chips and no serious cracks. A few very minor imperfections visible in our images for your review. Nice pearlescent shimmer, very little surface abrasion for its 160 years. The appliqué cartouche has not been engraved and has double shield so could be considered to be engraved with bride and groom monograms to mark a wedding. Interior silk has some tatters, but the leather ridge on dividers is intact. Some losses of age to the criss-cross worked leather that makes up the baffles. When I got married young, my parents gave me a $2 bill, so I would never be broke. I still have that sweet memento. I think tucking some symbolic gift like that into a time-tested "something old" is such a charming idea. Perhaps you will, as well.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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