vintage clothing at

18th century purse

#1939         $800  Reserved

Embroidered French silk purse, c.1780-1800

Quand on aime tout est plaisir

This delightful fold over purse is hand embroidered with a lover's maxim that "everything is pleasurable when you are in love."

I have located two purses/lettercases with identical styling, in different colors, suggesting that they were all produced in a small French workshop—thank you Lori. See page 76 of Fashion/The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute for an example in red. The other example, which resides in a private collection, is blue with identical lettering and braid trim.

And I was recently given the information that a similar example in blue with "Tout est plaisir" embroidery resides in the Colonial Williamsburg collection—thank you Linda. It can be viewed on p.42 of Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Williamsburg by Linda Baumgarten.

The purse is fashioned from raspberry silk taffeta and is lined with pale peach taffeta. The unfaded color is fabulous! The design is hand embroidered in chain stitch with beige floss. The edges of the purse are trimmed with beige silk braid gimp.

The condition is almost excellent. The purse shows slight fraying of the silk along the folded edges.

The purse has a total length of 9 3/4" when open. Folded over, it measures 4 1/2" by 6 1/8".

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