Woman's handbag - ROM2006_8098_4


Woman's handbag

Medium:Silk and cotton with glass and metallic beads, metallic thread, netted beadwork, and beaded tassels
Geography: Mexico
Date: 1850 – 1899
26 x 22 cm
Object number: 2002.19.23
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

Beaded handbag with tassels and a carrying strap. 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.

This small bag is made from parts of other beaded panels, including one that shows sheep and a vase of flowers. The glass beads are strung in pinwheel and floral designs, with the initials 'BE' in brass beads on the back.

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