Alms purse

Alms purse

circa 1780
unknown artist
Gilt silver, gold thread fabric, silk lining, and tassels
Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer

Unknown artist, Alms Purse, about 1780. Gilt silver, gold thread fabric, silk lining and tassels; 8⅜ × 5¾ in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2013.311.

This object is currently on view
height: 8 3/8 in, 21.2725 cm; width: 5 3/4 in, 14.6050 cm
"MA"; "S" pierced by a nail
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Latin American Art

This small bag would have belonged to a upper level cleric in the Catholic church, such as a bishop. Offerings, also called alms, were given to the church by placing them in this purse. On one side of the red silk and gold thread bag is a silver plaque bearing the monogram of the Virgin Mary; on the other side two kneeling angels flank a large monstrance, the vessel used to display the holy euchristic wafer.
--Julie Wilson Frick, 2017

Known Provenance
Gifted 25 November 2013 by Frederick and Jan Mayer to the Denver Art Museum. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • "Heaven and Earth: The Jan and Frederick Mayer Collection of Spanish Colonial Art from the Denver Art Museum, Jun 16-Oct 8, 2006, Museo de las Americas, Denver