Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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Purses post-1100
(655 words)

Purses were carried by men and women throughout the period 1100-1450 and they were used for carrying money and other small, valuable items. Purses were often made from leather that could be plain or dyed, pinked, decorated with applied metal studs or rivets, embroidered or trimmed with silk as in the case of the carpenter's wife in Chaucer'sCanterbury Tales:

And by hir girdle heeng a purs of lether

        Tasseled with silk and perled with latoun.

Purses were also made from fabric. Those recovered from archaeological contexts in the British Isles tend to be made from silk or wool but it is …

Cite this page
Maria Hayward, “Purses post-1100”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 08 April 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_SIM_000801>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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