Monday 16 September 2013

17th century frog purses

I was idly looking through a book I have on embroidery, when I stubled on this deligtful little frog.

Asmolean Museum
Another view.
It is dated to the 17th century and is made of needlepoint stitches in silk and metal threads on green silk over a stiffer foundation, probably leather and decoated with coiled gold wire and glass beades. The legs are made out of wire and silk thread. It has an inner bag made of cream silk. It is small, 7.5X6 cm and was probably used for carrying around a scented satchet. I found it completely adorable and after a quick search on the Net I realised that it isn't the only around. It seems to have been quite a trend to carry around a decorative froggy. Sadly there are no pictures of the underside, but it looks mottled due to green silk floss in patches.

Another 17th century frog ingold thread and yellow taffeta with a cord drawstring 
Royal Collection Trust

A back view
A sweetmeat purse, dated 1601-1630, made in yellow, lime green, pink, tan silk thread and gold metallic thread. 


This one is padded and covered with silver gilt thread in a detached button hole stitch. The wire legs are padded and covered with embroidery as well.
Museum of London
Neddle case frog in silk and metallic thread.


Another view

As you can see the museums gives the bags different purposes, for scented bags, candy of needles. All of tehse may apply, I think the main purpose was really to wear it as a kind of jewelry. regardless, I felt a strong and urgent need to have a frog purse on my own and as I have long wanted to try goldwork, I thinka frog purse would be the ideal thing to make.


Kleidung um 1800 said...

These are fascinating! I only knew the one from the Museum of London. Amazing that this seems to be a fashion bag then and even more amazing that so many of them have 'survived'.
Can't wait to see your interpretation.


Isis said...

Sabine: Frogs seems to have been popular in the 17th century. I hope it will look nice- I have never done goldwork before. Of course, I could do another one, in that case. :)

Anonymous said...

I'd recommend a practice sampler first,
as niether the gold thread nor filament silk areeasy to handle

Isis said...

opusangelicum: As the purse is so small, I consider it sample size. :)And if I'm not pleased with the outcome, I make another one.

Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...

They are so clever! I'll be watching for yours.

Isis said...

Deb Salisbury: I have fallen completely in love! :)

Draped in Cloudlets said...

Wow, these bags are so wonderfully strange and amazing - thank you for this post!

ZipZip said...

Dear Isis,

The cute factor in the 21st century is just as big as in the 17th. Adorable; no wonder you want to make one! Will be watching happily for the project...

Very best,


Isis said...

Natalie: Indeed, the cute factor is huge! :D Of course, I don't really need new Projects, but how can I resist making one?

Anonymous said...

where do I buy one

Isis said...

Theo Strickland: I don't know. Perhaps Etsy can provide something?

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