Thursday, 24 May 2012

Researching - Money-Changer's Purse

With my major work finished for Border Spat, it's time to start thinking about what I want to work on next. I still have a request from Lady Thora for a rapier sheath, and have Avelyn's armour to work on but otherwise I'm done all my projects. So, while I work on crafting those, I can start my research for my next big project.

When I was first reading through Purses in Pieces, one of the pouches caught my attention. Not sure how practical it would be, but I thought it would make a really neat Kingdom A&S project.

I have to say I've never seen one in the SCA context or at any merchant, so that may tell me something. But, I'm nothing if not willing to take on stupid projects so I'm going to start looking into it.

It's a type of money-changer's purse so has multiple pockets for multiple types and denominations of currency. This particular style seems to have the various pouches hanging off a handle or stick (hence why they are also sometimes called stick purses). Here's a quote from Purses in Pieces describing the style:

"The other type has a stick handle, to which are attached four to six pouches, each with their pouchlets: a 'father purse'. All of the pouches and pouchlets were closed with a thong or strap according to the drawstring principle."

As a start, here's a painting of a money-changer with the type of purse I'm thinking of (Avarice, workshop of Abraham Bloemaert, c. 1625):

Based on the images, it looks like the stick is also covered with braided or woven leather.

So, things I'll need to figure out:
  • Confirm the pouch style is period
  • What weight of leather should I use. Possibly different weights for different parts of the purse.
  • What colours? Will probably start out with whatever I have on hand that's the correct weight but for the final A&S entry I'll want to be more specific
  • How do I attach the purse(s) to the stick and/or each other
  • What are the proportions and sizes of the various components (stick, main pouch(s), pouchlets etc.)

Note: references and images found on, a really great resource for documentation.

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