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Beaded Purse
1860-1890
USA: New York (probably)
Glass; cotton; linen; velvet
overall: 6 1/2 x 7 x 1/2 in.; 16.51 x 17.78 x 1.27 cm
Gift of Prescott Richardson Collection
91.055.54

Native American style beaded purse with black velvet body and a flap on each side. Beads arranged in a floral design - white, pink, blue. Gold ribbon trim. Edges bound with red linen tape. Beaded loop fringe along bottom and sides in pink and blue. Green tape handle; red lining.


Native American beadworkers developed their own identifiable aesthetic in the late 1800s. This purse was probably made in the Niagara Falls area and sold to a tourist as a souvenir. Making beadwork like this allowed Native American women to earn a living, while also following their traditional lifestyle.