Antique late 1890s or early 1900s lacy, round miser’s purse crocheted of black silk cord features a central floral motif and an edging of zig-zag “petals”.
Suspended on nine strings from a cord-wrapped finger (or chatelaine) ring, a second, slightly smaller ring in front draws it open, while the first, when gently tugged, closes it again.
This dainty but ingenious contruction meant that, unlike the typical two-ended knit miser’s purse, this example kept coins easily accessible as well as thoroughly secure. With no need to clumsily tug at the opening or fuss with tangling strings, its owner didn’t risk the fate of one unlucky streetcar passenger in 1892, described by the local Pennsylvania papers as “reduced to tears of vexation” when neither she nor the conductor could open the purse to extract the requisite fare.
Measuring 4” in diameter and 7.5” from the ring to the bottom, this miser bag is in very good condition, with a hint of colorfade to the left of the ring in front (photo #2).
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