Embroidered in silk in chain stitch outlined with gold thread, this silk fabric bag may have been used as a reticule or to contain needlework or tatting tools. The crocheted lace border is also worked in gold thread. A metallic thread drawstring loops around the outside, held in place by passe partout rings. This style of bag resembles a type of tobacco pouch made in Turkey. Similarly shaped bags could be made at home to match or complement an outfit. Ladies magazines often carried instructions for making decorative bags and purses, and ‘Turkish’ designs were popularised during the Crimean War but this bag may have been made as a drawstring tobacco pouch in an embroidery workshop in Turkey or Uzbekistan. The motifs are very reminiscent of Suzani work.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Clothing and accessories
Common Name
Simple Name
Period Classification
Victorian (1837-1901)
Production Date
c 1850
Production Year Low
Production Year High
Production Continent
Family Group

silk gauze
Function Detail
Possibly a tobacco bag, or inspired by one

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