Copper alloy purse frame: Late 15- mid 16th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Copper alloy purse frame, its central shield-shaped boss has an attachment loop. The purse frame has flat section side bars, two pendant frames and is decorated with religious inscriptions. Towards the end of the 1400s it became fashionable for rich men to wear large purses hanging from their belts. They were made of velvet or other expensive fabric fitted to fancy metal frames. This purse frame is inscribed with Christian prayers to protect the purse and its contents from loss or theft. The upper bar reads in Latin (wrongly spelt) "AVE MARIA GACIE PLE", continuing on the back "A DOMINV TECVM" - 'Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you'. The hinged frames are marked "DEO HONOR ET [GLO]RIA" and "LAVS TIBI SOLI" - 'Honour and glory to God' and 'Praise to you alone'.
1460 AD - 1560 AD