UNUSUAL Large Crocheted Miser’s Purse Dancer’s Purse


This is a magnificent miser purse. It is unusual in that it is huge. I was told it was called a “dancer’s purse”.  I can’t imagine dancing with this monster in hand or over a belt, so I did a little research and found that there was a Daniel Dancer who was fictional character in the 18th century and he was a well-known miser.

I’ve collected a number of miser’s purses and sold quite a few over the years. I’ve read 19th century ladies’ magazines with descriptions of miser’s purses and knitting and crocheting instructions. But I’ve never come across a purse like this one.

The color is dark or Navy blue and cut steel beads decorate it throughout. Both ends are shaped the same. The fringe is formed of strung steel beads looped at two different lengths.

The purse is formed of crochet stitches with the same size thread and needle that would be used in the usual size purse but is enormous in comparison. The purse, when laid out straight measures about 36” long PLUS 1 ½” of fringe at each edge. The opening is 16” long and the center section measures about 3 ½” wide. (I tried to keep it from stretching, as is the nature of crochet.) The two sliding rings are much larger than the usual, and this leads me to believe that maybe purses of this size were more common that I think.

Condition issues are few and minor. On one end, one of the longer loops of steel beads is missing from the fringe. I’m not sure but it looks like the thread the beads were on remains and is tied here. There is a small hole that I tried to photograph and a couple of loose threads but no apparent damage. This might be where a new thread was joined. There is rust on one of the rings that might be able to be removed with fine steel wool, but this will be left to the discretion of the purchaser. There are some areas of rust on some of the steel beads in the rows near the center, probably where the rings were laid over them past few decades of storage, and on one end, there are a few loops of beads with rust.  Please be sure to view all the photos.

Overall, the condition is excellent and sturdy.

1 in stock

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