Antique Early 19th Century Purse Gilt Pinchbeck Frame With Provenance Circa 1810
This is a wonderful example of a very early 19th century, Regency period lady's purse. This is so Jane Austen with its constrained delicacy. It will make a fine addition to your early purse and reticule collection. This purse comes with excellent provenance ( name given upon purchase). The deceased previous owner had an extensive collection of pre 1820 antique purses and textiles. He made many donations of his collection to important museums during his lifetime.
This is a small purse at 4.25" by 3.25". Its small size made it perfect for placing in a slightly large silk reticule ( handbag) along with other daily essentials such as fan, rouge, scent bottle, smelling salts, aide memoir, needlecase etc. The high karat Pinchbeck frame ( extremely authentic faux gold invented by Christopher Pinchbeck) is of exceptional quality with its high relief pansy flowers and oak leaves. Pansy symbolizing thoughtfulness, memory and the oak leaf strength and power. This is a genuine early 19th century frame with the push button opener not to be confused with much later Victorian KISS clasp examples. This gorgeous purse still retains its ORIGINAL Pinchbeck finial. This is very rare as they often become detached over time. The body of the purse is plain netted in wine and moss green silk purse twist.
Netting was such a popular pastime during the Georgian period that in fact at times the country ran out of silk thread supplies!! Indeed, most lady's owned a wooden netting box filled with varying sizes of netting shuttles...why we believe that the Austen's did. Betsy Sheridan, Richard Sheridan the playwrights sister, bought her sister a netting box in 1785, she wrote: 'There is a box for you to put your netting in while you work it, and to keep it in when you are idle, with lock and key'.
Condition - The frame and matching finial is in excellent condition. The frame opens and closes perfectly with a satisfying snap and the gilding is as bright today as it was nearly two hundred years ago. Sadly, the silk body being a natural product has fared worse. Although it looks stunning, on close inspection there are holes to the front and back near the frame. Please see our image of the open frame that show the damage clearly. This is a lovely example for display only - it is not to be used. Shown with a UK 20 pence coin and USA five cent coin for scale.
Please see similar examples in The Winterthur Museum Museum Object Number: 1955.0003.006 also The Met Museum Accession Number: C.I.58.23.12 and Candice Hearn's Regency World examples from this period.
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