Tintype – circa 1880

Tintype, (2.4 x 3.75 inches) – circa 1880

The purse in this image is usually referred to as a “box purse,” because of their stiff-walled, boxlike shape and because many examples also had the word “box” stitched in beads on the lid. Great quantities of these were made and they came in many sizes, no doubt to appeal to both children and adults. An early example is illustrated in this image. It appears to be decorated with a leaf or clover motif but many examples were decorated with wild and fanciful animals.  These are generally attributed to the Mohawk and because of their popularity, they continued to be made in this form until at least the 1920s.