Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I am a rabid reader of Victorian novels, the Victorian Era, Victorian architecture, Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy, Louisa May Alcott, Howard's End, Cape May, NJ (in fact) all things Victoriana.

I was so inspired by the presentation given at the Brighton Library on the costumes worn to afternoon tea, that I attended last week, that I did blog about it. One thing that I'll be eternally grateful for is finally discovering what a "reticule" is. I had come across this word countless times in my readings and was mystified and finally saw one up close and personal.

Here is the dictionary definition:
reticule [ˈrɛtɪˌkjuːl]
1. (Clothing & Fashion) (in the 18th and 19th centuries) a woman's small bag or purse, usually in the form of a pouch with a drawstring and made of net, beading, brocade, etc.

reticule - An older term for a small handbag, it alludes to the fact that they were originally made of netted fabric—Latin rete, "net," became reticulum, "netted bag."

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun 1. reticule - a woman's drawstring handbag; usually made of net or beading or brocade; used in 18th and 19th centuries
handbag, purse, bag, pocketbook - a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women); "she reached into her bag and found a comb"

Here is a photo of the one which was in the costume presentation...............

The Victorian woman did not need the satchel-like purse like most of us carry around. She had no car, therefore, no car keys, no cell phone, no credit cards, no pictures of kids or grandkids, no packages of kleenex, etc. All she needed when she left her house, was a hankie, her smelling salts (in case she fainted from her compressed lungs due to her corset), a comb, spare change in case she wanted to tip the carriage driver. All that would, indeed, fit into a reticule.

In my dreamy Victorian state of mind, I made one for my sammysgrammy etsy shop. I will tag it for the wedding market. No other woman on earth needs to carry so little to a big event as the bride. Just her smelling salts and hankie.

What do you think?


  1. Absolutely love it!!! Clever you!
    I also read those lovely novels, the latest one being one by Georgette Heyer--I think that spelling is right! Nice post!

  2. Cute! I would think there is a big market for little bride purses, especially if you call it a reticule and a little history about it.

  3. I thought it was a purse!
    Your reticule is very sweet;)

  4. And to think, that little purse that is called a reticule is something I have loved most of my life! They are so sweet and feminine and make an adorable accessory for the wedding party or for proms and even smaller ones for that special little girl in your life.


  5. I have never heard that word before. They are such a beautiful feminine accent.

  6. Fabulous! Now one can buy a newly created reticule on Etsy! I think that is wonderful!!

  7. I love the design of the one in the photo!! And the one you made is so delicately beautiful! I think I would have to find a use for one, even if it was simply going out for a short stint. I've seen a number of these little tiny bags at goodwill and the only reason I don't snatch them up is because out little boat would be overrun!! :)