I've been fairly inactive on the leatherworking front since the holidays, mainly because we were getting ready for a vacation to Mexico. Now that we're back I'll have to get back into the swing of things.
Oddly enough, while we were away I received the long-awaited e-mail from the Curator at the Fries Museum with the details I was looking for about their stick-purse! YAY!
Turns out they are busily prepping a bunch of new exhibits for the fall, including one that will show the stick-purse, which is why my e-mail got lost in the shuffle.
They weren't able to answer all of my questions about the construction of the purse but did send me a fact sheet that has all of the dimensions in it (stick length, pouch length, pouch diameter etc.), which was really the critical piece of info I was looking for.
I'm still struggling with the design of the pouches. I know Mistress Elizabeth chose to go with the other design that is shown in Purses in Pieces, which is a typical square/rectangular pouch similar to ones I've made in the past. The one at the Fries is a very different shape, and not one I've seen before in any of my patterns. The pictures just don't show me the detail I need to determine if there's a seam in the pouch, or whether it's a solid piece of leather.
If there's a seam at the back, there would also have to be a separate bottom piece that would be sewn on. I see no evidence of either in the pictures I have, which is why I'm leaning away from that design (although I did find a really nice reproduction of the pouch using that approach from NP Historical Shoes - see the bottom of the page at http://www.np-historicalshoes.com/vyrobky.php?lang=en&ktg=10).
If that's not the way it's made, then my thought is that it's basically a large circle pouch with a draw-string. It would be much simpler to make, and is certainly a period design documented in Purses in Pieces. (I'm thinking something along these lines, but much taller).
I may have to play with that design next and see if it would work.