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.
Object Name
bag, miser
Object Type
Accessories Carried
Bag, Miser
date made
McLane, Abby Knight
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 17 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in; 43.815 cm x 5.715 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Clothing & Accessories
American Enterprise
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bequest of Abby Knight McLane

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