Drawstring Pouches & Purses
Purses in Pieces: Archaeological Finds of Late Medieval and 16th century Leather Purses, Pouches, Bags and Cases in the Netherlands

Dress Accessories

Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York

Material Culture in London in an Age of Transition: Tudor and Stuart Period Finds c. 1450-1700 from Excavations at Riverside Sites in Southwark

The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire

Period Patterns: Bags, Pouches, and Purses

This page focuses on what Goubitz calls “Money pouches or Drawstring pouches”: “bag-shaped leather or textile receptacles of thin and supple material.”

I’ve divided these into square-based pouches and round-based pouches.

The 16th & 17th century embroidered square-based pouches known as sweet bags can be found on their own linkspage.


Square-based pouches

These sorts of purses appear on funeral effigies and memorial brasses, perhaps as a sort of testament to the acts of charity that the person performed during his/her life. Examples include:

See also the sweet bags (heavily-embroidered drawstring pouches from the 16th & 17th centuries) elsewhere on this site.



Round-based pouches