Lady's Purse

iron, gold damascene

1.5 x 6.2 x 2.8 cm

This is an elongated metal container in the form of a locket with a bombé cover hinged along its left side. The cover is released by a button mounted in the top of the ball support which holds a suspension ring. The interior is gilded and fitted with semicircular containers for two sizes of coins. The cover is damascened in two colours of leaf and wire; the upper and lower areas of the composition contain a large single leaf, while the centre is filled with a stereotypical wyvern among foliage. There is considerable punch decoration in the form of arcs, wedges and dots. The purse is large, and would be quite heavy when filled with coins. Compared with a locket, it could be awkward and impractical to wear.

J. D. Lavin (ed.), The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas: Spanish Damascene from the Khalili Collection, Oxford 1997, cat. 65, p. 171.