Antique mid- to late 1910s crocheted linen purse with tasseled braid drawstring features meticulous detail despite its petite size. Alternating rows of openwork and raised knot diamond shapes pattern the purse’s chain-stitched body, which has a lacy top with pretty scalloped edge.
The June 1914 article shown in photo #8 notes: “In lieu of dark and stiff leather handbags, something daintier is prescribed for carrying with summer dresses and wash suits. The bag shown on this page is a suggestion for one which may be easily crocheted of linen thread or cordonnet, in white or ecru, and lined with soft silk in some plain color, or with flowered ribbon. The latter in an art design falls in with this season’s riot of color for women’s dress—a pleasing idea when all nature is gay with bright flowers and foliage”.
Please see photo #7 for some additional examples of crocheted purses from 1914 and 1915. The dainty dimensions of the example offered here suggest that it may have been a child’s purse.
Lined, the purse would make a lovely bridal or summer finger-purse; unlined and filled with fragrant dried flowers or herbs, it would make a charming sachet.
Measurements are 5.5” high by 4” across, with an 18” (doubled) drawstring. Very good condition, clean and sturdy despite its delicate appearance. Only issue is that the part of the drawstring threaded through the top has begun to loosen and untwist, and so the purse must be drawn open and shut with care.
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