We are thrilled to offer this beautiful and very touching example of an early Federal period stocking or short purse (later in the Victorian period called a Miser's purse when they were much longer in size). This is just one example that we have been lucky to acquire from an English lady's lifelong collection of early purses and accessories.
It is amazing to realise that this Regency example was made when Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was born. When James Madison is inaugurated, succeeding Thomas Jefferson as President of the United States. It was made while Lord Horatio Nelson was busy defeating the French and Spanish at The Battle of Trafalgar. talk about history in you palm!!
This small purse could be easily carried or tucked away inside one's pocket or reticule. The green and crimson pink body was made by a netted technique. This craft of netting and knotting was rediscovered during the late 18th and early 19th century when ladies applied the ancient art of netting to make bags, purses, shawls and mats. The making of purses was a favorite pastime for the purse to be given as a thoughtful gift as apparent by the gilt fede clasped hand finials.
Our superb example has ONE very ornate, gilt mesh central slider - we believe it was made with just the one as two would not allow access to one's coins. The original end finials are very rare being clasped hands passing a ball (perhaps a golden apple - Judgement of Paris), we adore the little cuff on each wrist!! Throughout antiquity the shaking of hands in friendship or holding hands in affection or the passing of a love token - were all popular symbolism used in jewellery. As well as romance, holding hands symbolized strength and unity. Such items were referred to as 'mani fede' or 'hands in faith' .
Size: Netted body 7.5", including those rare gilt finials 9.5".
Condition. Excellent museum worthy condition, as mentioned just the one central gilt mesh slider. Padded with acid free tissue for display/storage. The last two images are taken in natural English daylight, sorry albeit quite a grey day here today!!
Please see the Cooper Hewitt collection of early miser's purses for similar sized examples.
For the discerning purse collector, this is a lovely example that is becoming harder and harder to find.