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Long Purse

Artist/maker unknown, American

Made in United States, North and Central America

Late 19th century

Brown, rust, and pale pink netted cotton; bronze rings and drops

9 1/8 × 1 3/4 × 3/4 inches (23.2 × 4.4 × 1.9 cm) Length excluding tassels: 8 inches (20.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of an anonymous donor, 2006

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Miser’s purses were often gender-specific in the first half of the nineteenth century, with so-called short purses for women (four to six inches in length) and long purses for men (seven to ten inches long). By the mid-nineteenth century, all miser’s purses were the latter size to accommodate the production of larger coins, and they would nearly triple in length by the early twentieth century. This example not only illustrates this increase in size but also the continued appreciation of ombré designs—where colors shade into each other, usually from dark to light.