Wednesday 22 January 2014

14th Century Wedding Gift Purse * Hamburge Kunst & Gewerbe Museum

This delightful, small purse measuring just 3" x 6" (8cm x 14.5cm) and portraying a courtly love scene was worked by an unknown French stitcher around 1340. A wedding gift; it shows a couple in an intimate scene. The young girl and the young man are in the flower of their youth. Their clothes are girded for the dance, and the girl is leading the young man by the tip of his hood. In her other hand she holds, beckoningly, a wreath as a sign of her virginity. Also finely embroidered, the reverse of the bag depicts the arrival of the cavalier. The special delicacy of execution, the magic of the representation and the excellent state of preservation make this bag a jewel among the embroideries of that period.

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