Pin Cushion and Purse

Early 17th century purse and pin cushion from England. Early 17th century purse and pin cushion from England. Copyright Victoria & Albert Museum, London, acc. no. T.52&A-1954.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a remarkable pair of embroidered items from the early seventeenth century. They are a purse and a pin cushion. The purse measures 12,6 x 14 cm, and the pin cushion 7 x 7 cm. Both objects are decorated in a similar manner. The two objects, together with other early embroideries, were bequeathed to the Museum in 1954 by Sir Frederick Richmond.

Both objects are made of an even, plain weave linen and embroidered with silver thread and coloured silks in tent stitch, and with silver-gilt thread in double-plait stitch. They both also have a drawstring. Motifs include a bird, a rose, a pansy, grapes, and a vine leaf. The embroidery can be compared to other objects, also in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and also bequeathed by Sir Frederick Richmond, namely a knife case with two knives (V&A T.55&A&B-1954).

Source: THORNTON, Claire (2012). 'Purse, Pincushion and Knife Case,' in: NORTH, Susan and Jenny TIRAMANI (eds.), Seventeenth-Century Women’s Dress Patterns, vol.2, London: V&A Publishing, pp.136-143.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 26th June 2016).


Last modified on Thursday, 04 May 2017 17:45