Woman's wallet - ROM2015_14449_33


Woman's wallet

Medium:Glass beads and tabby ikat
Geography: Mexico
Date: 1820-1850
40.2 x 8.5 cm
Object number: 2002.19.40
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Kent Newcomb. Certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Attestée par la Commission canadienne d'examen des exportations de biens culturels en vertu de la Loi sur l'exportation et l'importation de biens culturels.
Not on view

Envelope-style wallet. The beadwork on the front shows a hunter pursuing three deer across a landscape. The back displays the owner's initials, while the flap shows a floral bouquet. A narrow ribbon, woven with tie-dyed threads, reinforces the sides and keeps the wallet closed.

Glass beads were brought to Mexico by Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. Admired by indigenous peoples for their brilliance and colour, beads became a valuable commodity. During the 19th century, Mexican beadwork reached its peak. Men had elegant hatbands and beaded cigar cases. Women wore flat, ribbon-like necklaces, often inscribed with the wearer's name. Crosses, medallions, or small pouches containing holy relics were hung on them. Bags, purses, and card cases displayed floral designs and eye-catching scenes.

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