Beaded Reticule
selected from a grouping of four seen in this exhibition

Late 19th century
Credit Line:
Gifts from the collection of Ellen C. Fischer, Ph.D., 2014

Beaded purses were essential accessories for women during the Victorian era and remain popular today. Drawstring bags, called reticules, are an older form than handbags with metal frames. Floral patterns were among the most cherished. Line and form are stylized according to aesthetic principles of the period, but many blooms are recognizable. These reticules include cultivated roses, wild roses, tulips, morning glories, carnations, dahlias, and possibly hibiscus. Designs feature three distinct bands; the middle section is larger, giving those flowers prominence.