Beaded Drawstring Purse With Peacock Design

Object Details

Early 20th century
glass beads, metal beads, cotton, synthetic fabric
15 1/16 × 13 × 7/8 in. (38.2 × 33 × 2.2 cm)
Glass beads provide a fitting medium for iridescent peacocks depicted in mirror image on this drawstring purse. The grey purse’s symmetry continues below the two birds where silver, black, and bronze beads form a floral motif framed by blue and grey-green leaves. Shaped like a cylindrical vase, the purse tapers into a beaded tassel at the bottom. Metallic colors and geometric shapes at the purse’s top and bottom are consistent with the early twentieth century’s Art Deco style. Above the beading, grey cord delicately snakes through matching crocheted loops, drawing together the purse’s identical sides. Cotton fabric lines the interior. The purse belonged to renowned scholar-librarian Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995), who organized and developed an unparalleled collection rooted in African American history that would become the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Accession Number
drawstring purse
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
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