Friday, 17 November 2017

Miser's purse

   An unfortunate name for a lovely thing! I was given a fantastic book 'The Accomplished Lady' by Noel Riley and read that misers' purses were a popular pastime for women of the 19th C. It seems that it wasn't considered appropriate for a lady to hand over naked cash when she paid for something and so the purse was left discreetly.This was especially true when paying the doctor and many collections of these purses have been passed down from relations in the medical arts.
   As a gift for a friend (a surgeon) I decided to make a miser's purse in needlelace with a few old pennies in it.They were usually netted for the purposes of payment, the fancier knitted and beaded ones were for personal use, and so a simple needlelace one seemed right for someone whom I had taught the basics to.
  I chose a space dyed thread which I then worked in repeating rows of single, double and then beaded brussels stitch. The rings were worked onto brass curtain rings to match and then I put two tassels on the square end and one on the round end. I read that this shaping developed from coins originally being kept in stockings!
  The bag itself is a rectangle seamed partly down the long side, the centre being left open. Then the bag is slipped through the rings and money is put in one end first.Sliding both rings down to the coins then leaves the other end open (gold in one end,silver in the other) and one ring is drawn back to seal both ends.
  In this case the payment is only tuppence ha'penny!


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