Miser's Purse

The miser purse gained popularity during the 19th century and was widely used until the 1920s. One end of the crocheted purse has twisted steel bead tassels and the other has looped fringe, allowing users to differentiate which end they needed to access. The center of the purse has two rings; separating the rings gave access to the small slit that served as the purse’s opening. The small slit and difficult access gave the purse its “miser” moniker, as it discouraged reckless spending.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bag, miser
Object Type
Accessories Carried
Bag, Miser
date made
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
steel beads (overall material)
overall: 15 in; x 38.1 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
American Enterprise
Clothing & Accessories
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. S. E. Cummings

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