№ 1339

Beaded coin purse showing the arrival of the first giraffe in France

Sometimes history is quite literally reflected in a bag and coin purse. During the 19th century purses and coin purses were made as a personal reminder of a beautiful trip or a historical event. In 1827, for example, the Egyptian viceroy gifted King Charles X a giraffe named Zarafa, the first ever seen in France. After its disembarkation Zarafa walked all the way from Marseille to Paris, an event that attracted many spectators. In Paris the giraffe became the latest craze in fashion resulting in, among other things, a beaded coin purse showing the animal's image.
France, 1827.