European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

Object Voices / Game Purses

bagsfashion historyFrench fashiontextile history

The third – and extremely precious – voice from the Museo del Tessuto di Prato collection

This game purse is one of the most curious and precious objects in the collection of the Museo del Tessuto di Prato. It was used to contain coins or tokens for board games, highly appreciated pastime for the aristocracy between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and especially for the French nobility.

The coat of arms embroidered on the circular base confirms this object belonged to Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715), the famous Sun King. Right in the middle can be seen a chain with the cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit, the most prestigious chivalric honour of the French monarchy.

Other similar specimens are preserved in European and American museum collections, such as the V&A, the Ch√Ęteau de Versailles and the MET.