Making a Leather Purse With a Brass Frame – Finished!


My thoughts On This Project


I really enjoyed this project and will definitely make more purses. Actually building a purse made me better understand some of the details, like rivet locations and the number of stretcher bars, that I had witnessed in English museums. A truly period version of the purse frame would have relied less on soldering and more on rivets to join pieces. Soldering was a difficult task in period and rarely used on non-precious metals. In terms of the roundel, the variations in color within the red are due to the fact that modern red enamels are slightly unstable and burn easily and the fact that I am a beginning enameller. With practice I should be able to achieve a more even color. This is the largest enamel that I have ever done. I knew that red was a fussy color, but I wanted it any way. I have seen the same sort of color variations in period enamels.




Almgren, Bertil, “The Viking”, Crescent Books, 1975


Campbell, James, “The Anglo-Saxons”, Cornel University Press, 1982


Cirker, Blanche, “The Book of Kells: Selected plates in Full Color”, Dover, 1982


Egan, Geoff and Pritchard, Frances, “Dress Accessories, c. 1150-1450”, 1991


Evans, Angela Care, “The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial”, British Museum Press, 1986


Meehan, Bernard, “The Book of Durrow: A Medieval Masterpeice at Trinity College Dublin”, Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1996


Stapleton, C.P., Freestone, I.C. and Bowman, S.G.E., “Composition and Origin of Early Medieval Opaque Red Enamel from Britain and Ireland”, Journal of Archaeological Science, Article No. jasc.1999.0399, Academic Press, 1999