About This Blog

My current research obsession is centered around purses and pouches from the European Middle Ages, and the accompanying hardware and passementerie. It is my hope to not only study extant items but also learn via reconstructive experiments; these will be limited for the most part to the textile components, however in the future I hope to explore the production of the metal frames.

14 February 2009

A selection of pictures from the Germanisches Nationalmuseum

First, a trapezoidal purse. Well, not just any trapezoidal purse, but one I've seen black and white images (here, here, and here) of before, and now have finally seen in person:

Bestickte Tasche mit Liebesgott und Liebespaar (GNM # T 1213)
ca. 1301–1315

I'll definitely be talking more about this (and trapezoidal purses in general) in a forthcoming post, so I'll hold off commentary for now.

Some hunting purses. These were all amazing, particularly the second one down for its embroidery and beadwork, and the third one down for sheer size. Dimensions weren't given, and I'm not so hot about eyeballing size. But let's just say that normally when I think of "purse", I think of something dainty, or something small but utilitarian to strap to your belt. This thing reminded me more of a book-bag. Seriously, you could stuff one of your hunting dogs in this thing.

[top] Jagdtasche, sog. Schwedler (GNM # ???), ca. 1650 - 1699
[center] Jagdtasche, sog. Schwedler (GNM # W 3188), ca. 1600 - 1649
[bottom] Falknertasche (GNM # W 1576), 1728

Still not sure how to translate "Falknertasche", but possibly a falconer's bag? I'll ask my German teacher.

Next, an extant girdle pouch, and some artistic representations. Would you believe that the museum didn't have a little info plaque for this little leather beauty? Me neither. I'm pretty sure I circled the case a few times looking for one but all in vain. Better luck next time (yes, I really hope there's a next time).

[top] leather girdle bag; acq. # ???, date ???
[bottom] details from the Geißelung Christi (GNM # Gm 113a), ca. 1400 - 1410
Click here to see the whole painting.

A reliquary bag. I'd be very interested to try an make something like this, with the small metal plaques and pearls and metal thread everywhere. All my photos of this piece are a bit hazy, due to the glare off the glass. However, I'd like to point out the fact that, yes, there is a mirror placed underneath the purse, so you can see the reverse side. What a novel concept! Other museums, take note.

Reliquienbeutel (GNM # KG 562), ca. 993

Lastly, two paintings and a sculpture:

[left] Werkstatt des Hans Traut (?), Altar aus der Nürberger Augustinerkirche
(GNM # Gm 142-148), 1487
[middle] Meister der Lyversberger Passion, Die Anbetung der Könige
(GNM # Gm 989), ca. 1460
[right] Adam Kraft, Relief von der alten Stadtwaage
(GNM # PI 2849), ca. 1460 - 1509

There are plenty of other pictures I could put up here, but these were the highlights. More detailed commentary will have to wait for another day.


William de Wyke said...

Very nice. It's great to see pictures of an extant girdle purse. Is there any chance you could post/email higher resolution copies? I'm struggling to make out some of the details of it in the pictures on your post.


Žabacorporation said...

Thank you for this amazing bunch of photos:)
Lovely, lovely, pleasure for eyes..

Racaire said...

Thank you so very much for sharing!

K-Money said...

Those are wonderful pictures, I am greedy for more! How very lucky you are to get to see these in person.

Louise Schelde said...

These pics are amazing! Thanks for sharing - Mt boyfriens Mikkel is going to love all the paintings and not least the beauty of a leather pouch that yo fotographed.

Mediaephile said...

Hi !

here are somme B&W pics of the 'Reliquienbeutel (GNM # KG 562), ca. 993' you show.


And here, my own 'collection' of medieval purses, pouches, almosenbeutel, aumônières and so on :


Mainly french written :D

Laura said...

For items like the lovely litle leather beutel, you should take a look at "Purses in Pieces" by Olaf Goubitz. http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ID/81349
It is a marvelous book, with lots of diagrams.

Racaire said...

...I don't have your eMail-address and the eMail function at your profil doesn't work for my computer - therefore I apologize for this posting.

I found a lovely purse at the Treasury in Vienna / Austria - maybe you would like to add this pic to your personal collection:

Sogenannter Beutel König Stephans von Ungarn
Rußland, 2.Hälfte, 11.-12.Jahrhundert, Gold- und Seidenstickerei auf Seide, Rauchquarz
(if you need a translation, let me know, there are also photos of the back)