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Friday, January 16, 2009

Bag History and a Free Pattern.

Vintage Crochet Sovereign Purse

I found this information on All Free Crafts site. It was really interesting to learn about bags and their history...

This sovereign purse is one of several purse patterns, including a Bridal Beaded Purse which were first published in Beeton's Book of Needlework, 1870. According to A Brief History of Bags and Purses from the Hampshire Museum in England, sovereign purses were coin purses with metal fastenings. The museum holds a delightful collection of several hundred bags and purses from the 18th century to the present day.

There were small knitted, netted or crocheted silk, cotton coin purses are also characteristic of [the Victorian] period and were known as stocking purses, and miser' purses. By the mid century these bags had metal fastenings and the whole was often made of a delicate metal chain, which supported sovereigns and half sovereigns, hence the term 'sovereign purse'. Chamois leather was also used, together with metal rings to secure the coins.

Sovereign cases were of circular metal design, with an internal spring to release a coin at a time. It is worth noting that in North America handbags are still called purses, which may refer back to their introduction there from Europe after 1800, when they were still primarily coin purses.

You can search the museum's extensive gallery of antique bags and purses, which is a great tool if you're trying to date or research a vintage purse.

This site also has a free pattern for the above bag. And her is a wonderful Foxglove Tea Cozy pattern.

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