The earliest form of beaded purse was the almonier (alms bag), which held money to give to the poor. It was probably first carried by Crusaders of the 12th or 13th century. The best-known examples of this type date from the 17th century and incorporate phrases such as “remember the pore.” The beaded reticule, which appeared in the 1790s, is considered to be the first kind of bag for women to carry. During the 19th century, purses made entirely of glass seed beads became fashionable. This was also the period in which the occupation of professional beadworker developed in order to satisfy the demands of the fashion industry. Before that time, many beaded accessories had been created by amateur women and girls. Most beaded purses were made by knitting, a skill that many women possessed because it was regarded as an important part of domestic life. The motifs and imagery depicted on these purses were diverse, including floral, figural, scenic (e.g., 83.3.13), and abstract designs, as well as Oriental rug patterns. The purse illustrated here has an abstract foliate design that is reminiscent of a paisley fabric. Paisley fabric had long been prized in Europe, and it became very popular in the United States during the 19th century. The minute glass seed beads are finely knitted to create a complex design, suggesting that this was probably the work of a professional. Unfortunately, the purse is missing its frame with the clasp, which would also have been artistically decorated and distinctive. This object was probably imported from Europe and purchased in the United States, where a large consumer class of women delighted in such ornate accessories.