They can be called purses, handbags, and even the Victorian term reticule. Today our purses can carry just about everything but the litchen sink! During the Victorian era ladies needed to carry nothing more than a handkerchief, some coins, and perhaps smelling salts in case their corset was too tight. Here are a few samples of what will be shown in my upcoming Victorian & Edwardian Fashions book.
A Mourning purse circa 1880.
A crochet drawstring reticule, circa 1900.