Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Finger Purses, and What's in a Name?

Someone had asked about finger purses like the one I entered in the fair in the last post.  "Finger purses" were so-named because they had a ring at the top that could go on your finger.  Some, but not all of them, had "strings," usually crochet chains, that fastened to the front edge of the opening and passed through holes or loops in the back, and effectively held the purses closed.  Some people call these "miser's purses," but that term more properly goes with an earlier form of purse, also called "long purses." They were occasionally called "string purses" or "string bags," but that term can get confused with modern string-bag shopping bags.  I'm going with "finger purses with strings."

 One of my Facebook groups is talking about coronation cord, so here you go, a finger purse with coronation cord from Needlecraft magazine, November 1915.  What seems to be an advertising pamphlet calls it "coronation cord," but all the tatting and crochet patterns I've seen call it "coronation braid."  (For the pamphlet, see the Antique Pattern Library, "Application of Coronation Cord." )
Here is a purse I made from that pattern years ago, with my own crocheted substitution for the coronation cord, er, braid.  No, I don't remember how I made it, sorry.

Here are the instructions, hope you can read this:

For a modern pattern of this type of purse, Sheron Goldin shared a pattern with the Online Tatting Class in 2011.  Click HERE for a direct link to the pdf pattern.

For bearing with me this long, here is an advertisement from another issue of the magazine that may give you a smile, or make you just shake your head at what amuses me.


  1. Very interesting post, with the bonus of a smile at the end!

  2. I love your finger purse! I’ve thought of making one on and off for years (my Pinterest will confirm this). Thank you for the pattern.
    The ad made me Laugh, so graphic for the time. “No water connection needed”. Huh.

  3. After seeing the post on coronation cord (braid) on Facebook, I did some research last night. I had researched it once before, but once an idea is in my head, I can't let it go! I like your idea of using crocheted cord as a substitute. The ad made me chuckle!

  4. I think the coronation cord was a popular thing back then like ric rac but ric rac seemed to pass the test of time and the coronation cord did not. It's nice your replacement idea so the tatting patterns can still be done. The shower is funny guess back then baths were harder to come by and not always built in a house😁