This object is currently resting in our storage facility. There are 2 other images of this object. This object has no known copyright, and as such we offer a high-resolution image of it. See our image rights statement.

 

See more objects with the color darkslategrey darkolivegreen grey rosybrown silver or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

1953

  • We acquired this object.

2002

2005

2012

2015

2017

  • You found it!

Miser's Purse, 1830–50

This is a Miser's purse. It is dated 1830–50 and we acquired it in 1953. Its medium is silk, metallic beads and its technique is beaded netting. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Miser’s purses are oblong pouches primarily used to carry coins. They usually have center slit openings with pairs of sliding rings to secure coins in the purses’ ends but sometimes clasp closures are used. The purses probably evolved from the sixteenth-century practice of storing coins in the toe of a stocking. They were called short or long purses based on their lengths, which were gender specific until the mid-nineteenth century, or sometimes gentlemen’s purses. The name miser’s purse seems to have originated at the turn of the twentieth century, near the end of their popularity.
Miser’s purses were usually silk with glass or metal beads, and could be netted, knitted or crocheted. While many of the designs were purely ornamental, some were intended to make the purses more functional, for example by making the two ends different colors or shapes, or using gold beads at one end and silver at the other, to help its user distinguish between gold and silver coins. They were typically carried by men in a coat or trouser pocket, and by women in a skirt pocket or reticule.

This object was donated by Mrs. Albert Blum. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum.

Its dimensions are

H: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Miser's Purse, 1830–50; silk, metallic beads; H: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.); Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum; 1953-106-49

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18394283/ |title=Miser's Purse, 1830–50 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=13 December 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please let us know!