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Purse: T.1-1836

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






Beads (opaque black, yellow, green and brick red; clear blue and gold) threaded on natural silk threads. Lined in leather, bound at top with pale blue satin. Around the top RE / MEMBER / THE / POOR / 1631. Cords for hanging and draw strings, pear-shaped beaded drops, each with two small tassels, three pairs of tassels on bottom edge.


History note: Unknown before Miss Whitehurst

Legal notes

Given by Miss Whitehurst

Measurements and weight

Height: 5 in
Width: 5 in

Relative size of this object

5 cm5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1836) by Whitehurst, Miss


Production date: dated AD 1631


Label text from the exhibition ‘Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800’, on display at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 26 November 2019 until 31 August 2020: This colourful beadwork purse acted as a reminder of the importance of charity and a public expression of piety, clearly expressed by the 2019-12-04-s, ‘REMEMBER THE POORE’. Every time the owner dipped her gloved hand inside to remove a coin, she would see this instruction. England, 1631 Satin, leather lining, silk thread, cord and polychrome glass beads.

School or Style


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: RE / MEMBER / THE / POOR / 1631
  • Location: On exterior at top of beadwork
  • Method of creation: Embroidered
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: T.1-1836
Primary reference Number: 197524
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 5 December 2013 Updated: Tuesday 24 November 2020 Last processed: Thursday 18 November 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Purse" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-10-01 10:28:30

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{{cite web|url= |title=Purse |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-10-01 10:28:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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