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The vibrant colors on this knitted pouch bag, particularly the white of the flowers against the red ground, are notable for their freshness. Beaded bags first gained popularity in the 18th century, when they were knitted by hand. By the 19th century machines were invented to knit the beads into the ground and could therefore be disseminated much more widely. The design and imagery here is evocative of late Victorian Berlin work patterns.

Margaret S. Bedell (1861-1932) donated, by gift or bequest, over 500 objects to the Brooklyn Museum, including furniture, quilts, samplers, costume and Native American beadwork. Her collection of American and European beaded bags includes examples from Philadelphia and the Catskill Mountain region of New York State, as well as Italy, Austria, Germany, and Holland.

Pouch, glass, silk, linen, American

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