HNW - Elizabethan Purse or Burse Noramunro at
Thu Sep 24 05:27:17 PDT 1998

In a message dated 9/23/98 8:05:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
dcobb at MAIL.MEYERNET.COM writes:

> Several months ago there was some discussion on a purse or burse purchased
>  by the British Museum that supposedly belonged to Elizabeth R or Elizabeth
>  and was embroidered with metal thread.  I think there was a similar one
>  at the V&A.  I'm doing an article on bags and pouches and would appreciate
>  it very much if someone could tell me if that item was specifically a
>  seal bag, or burse...since there is a defined difference between the 3
>  terms.  Thank you for your help.

The item in question is a seal purse, which was found in private possession at
the death of its owner, turned over to Sotheby's for auction, but the British
Museum purchased it before the auction actually occurred.  It is now part of
their seals display.  It *did* belong to Elizabeth I; it is embroidered with
her monogram and Sotheby's personnel managed to document its transmission from
Elizabeth to the ancestor of the previous owner.  One of the Donnas (Kenton?)
put a photograph of it and the V&A purse, which is similar, on her web page

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the H-needlework mailing list