Money changers bag – cloth version

This is the latest version, and possibly my best interpretation to date, of the money changer’s bag recovered from the Mary Rose. Previous versions have had leather bags, but this one uses hemp canvas, with horn beads for closing. Since only the bag handle, bag flaps, and some of the binding were recovered it seems possible that the bags were of an easily digested fabric, none of which survived. Similarly, almost no horn survived hence the use of them for the buttons, which were also not found. This bag is sold, but there will hopefully be another on the stall at TORM in November, if anyone would like a closer look 😉

cloth money bag

Shoulder wallets

Useful carry-all bags based on 15th and 16th Century manuscript illustrations.

Throw over your shoulder, over your staff, or over your donkey!


Latest embroidered bag…



Another version of the IHS bag recovered from the Mary Rose (1545).

Last embroidered bag for the time being… my eyes need a rest!

IHS Pouch

This is the second of the replica pouches made for the Mary Rose. It only has the one embroidered panel so only took around 20 hours to make (as opposed to over 45 hours for the previous one…)

Embroidered Tudor Pouch – some revisions lower down…

This bag has been a long time in the making! I did the first mockups for it over 10 years ago when I first realised how beautiful it would have been. For one reason or another it then lay dormant until last month when it was recognised it would be needed for AV filming for the new Mary Rose museum.

The bag itself is a multi compartmental leather pouch with inner pouchlets. In my version it is also lined with silk, and the pouchlets are made from the same material, and closed with silk drawstrings finished with bone beads. The belt loops on the back of the pouch did not survive, but similar examples survive from the ship which still had their loops, so I used those for reference. The three panels are embroidered with silver thread – for cost reasons I had to use DMC divisible silver thread, but maybe one day I’ll make a panel in real silver… 😉

There are things I’m not happy with (the border is scruffy where I tried to thicken it afterwards, the loops are a different leather because I ran out of the other, the leather itself is too shiny and wouldn’t take the hide food). I guess they are small things to some people, but very irritating for me… ‘Must do better next time’

I was going to upload just the pictures of the bag, but I think it might be useful for people to see how I work and why some jobs are so darn expensive…

The pictures below show the bag following some revisions that came to light after studying some other bags and pouches in the collection…






Purser's money bag

Made as part of a batch of objects for handling and filming… The only parts of the original bag to survive were the wooden core, some of the woven leather from the handle, and the five closing flaps for the bags. The rest is based on contemporary pictorial evidence. The softer leather is kip, the flaps and back panels are calf, the closure beads are boxwood, and the beads on the inside (which you can’t see!) are bone. The beads were all turned especially for the bag, although I do also keep some in stock.

I’m hoping to have one or two of these on the stall at TORM in November, time permitting!