We are delighted to retail this original late 18th century lady's stocking purse. This example has been very well preserved and will make a fine addition to any discerning 18th century purse collection, as examples from this period are becoming extremely difficult to find. Please see similar 18th century Long Purses at the MFA Accession Number: 52977 and a similar stocking purse at The Colonial Williamsburg (Historic Threads on line exhibition) Acc. No. 1971-1427 and an identical 1775 to 1800 period example at Snowshill Wade Costume Collection, Gloucestershire
Long purses had been fashionable since the mid 17th century. This type of long and narrow purse with fuller end for holding coins and central split opening was popular as a betrothal gift during the 18th century. One can also see a resemblance to the earlier pockets with this type of slit opening that were worn beneath skirts.
Our lovely, rare surviving example is of typical long or stocking purse form (precursor to the later 19th century miser's purse). This 15.75 " long purse would have been worn tucked over a waistband.
The pale eau de nil knitted silk knitted body is embellished with a vertical and horizontal lattice silver file couched design (silver wrapped around a single white silk thread). This same silver file has been used to knit the upper and lower bands as well as the two narrow bands in the central body of the purse and also the two end tassels. This silver file gives the purse a nice balanced weight and shimmers in a luxurious fashion just as it would have done by candlelight back in the 1790s.
Measuring 15.75" high (40 cm) including both tassels by 3" (7.5 cm) at its widest point.
Condition is structurally excellent being free from holes or insect damage. This purse has a little age darkening and grubbiness to the silk knitted ground and some minor loss to the silver file areas exposing the white silk core to the thread, all seen via our images, but the silver is still bright and glistens and glitters beautifully. This purse is missing its original sliding ring.
A gorgeous example in a superb color that will enhance any early, discerning purse collection.
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