Gifts for giving, items for sale



Largely used to store coins, miser’s purses were often given as gifts to friends and family, and sold at charitable fundraisers.

  • The purses were made by women, but given to and used by both women and men.
  • Men would have stored their purses in the pockets of their breeches, jackets or coats, while women would have kept their purses in their skirt pockets or bags.
  • Women’s magazine writers frequently recommended miser’s purses as gifts for friends and family members for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.
  • The purses were also given to prospective suitors as tokens of affection in courtship.
  • The highly-decorated purses were considered ideal items to sell at contemporary fundraising or fancy fairs as they were very eye-catching and inexpensive to make.


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