Beadwork bag

A knitted beadwork drawstring-closure bag with an upper design of a continuous floral motif between saw tooth borders. A lower design of cabins and trees. It was owned and probably made by Agnes McGuire (1764-1850). Knitted and/or beaded bags and purses were fashionable in the 1800s. The bags were made on knitting pins of very fine wire using colored and opalescent glass beads strung on a skein of netting silk in the order indicated by the printed pattern (knitting one, knitting one with a bead, repeat). The beads had to be strung on the thread in exact order or the picture would not turn out correctly when knitted. Agnes McGuire was born in Ireland in 1764. She married Robert Robinson (1763-1815) March 1787. They were prominent early settlers of Kittanning, PA, where they raised three children - Robert, Sarah, and Nancy. Agnes died August 25, 1850 in Kittanning, PA.
Currently not on view
McGuire, Agnes
made at
United States
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
beads (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 5 1/4 in; 16.51 cm x 13.335 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Helen P. Bray
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Victorian Needlework
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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