A splendid Elizabethan silk 'sweet bag' or reticule, circa 1600

A splendid Elizabethan silk 'sweet bag' or reticule, circa 1600



Of crimson silk embroidered on both sides with Tudor roses in metallic threads embellished with seed pearls and spangles, original wild strawberry tassels and drawstring, excellent condition.

With Mallett, New Bond Street, London, 1997
William M. B. and Bernadette Berger Collection
The Berger Collection Educational Trust, Denver Art Museum, United States, (item no. TL 18471)
With The Weiss Gallery, Jermyn Street, London, 2017

Exhibition catalogue, 'The Needle's Excellency', Mallett, London, 1997, p.55.
'600 Years of British Painting: The Berger Collection', Denver Art Museum, 1988, United States.
Lanto Synge, 'Art of Embroidery: History of Style and Technique', The Royal School of Needlework (2001), p.6, fig. 4.

For a ceremonial purse with similar Tudor roses, see portrait of Sir John Puckering (c.1544-1596), sold Sotheby's, London, 25 June 2020, lot 67.

This type of small bag, frequently listed in 17th century inventories, would have held perfumed dried flowers and herbs (to be used like a pomander).

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Height 16 cm / 6 "
Width 17 cm / 6 34"