Official Government Website


  • Zoom in: + (plus)
  • Zoom out: - (minus)
  • Go home: 0 (zero)
  • Fullscreen: f
  • Exit fullscreen: f or ESC
  • Navigate up: w or up arrow
  • Navigate down: s or down arrow
  • Navigate left: a or left arrow
  • Navigate right: d or right arrow
History & Notes: This striking purse was used by Laura Moore Cunningham. Born in 1869 to a family of Idaho pioneers, Laura traveled extensively throughout the world and was deeply invested in philanthropic ventures meant to nurture the growth of Treasure Valley institutions, such as Boise State University, far beyond their humble roots. Known by contemporaries as a woman tightly bound to the etiquette of her times, Laura's independence and humor tempered the protocol that governed her. After her death in 1963, Laura's family created the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation in her honor to continuing the civic activism she was known for. In 2009, Laura's family donated this, and several other pieces of her wardrobe to the Idaho State Historical Society.
Description: Purple silk damask purse with an ivory frame and two over sized purple tassels bound by metallic thread in a rhomboid shape leaving a Chinese character visible in the underlying purple on each face of the tassel. Corded knots secure tassels to purse. Damask pattern features large circles with a geometric ground framing a maple leaf. Ivory frame is carved into a pattern of organic scroll work in a modified rectangular shape. Lengths of two strands of purple cording threaded through the carvings on each side of the frame facilitate closure.
Object Number: 2009.079.0112
Object: purse
Category: Personal Gear
Circa: 1900
Materials: textile, plastic

Additional Images

Deep purple silk like fabric purse from the 1900s
ver: 3.4.0 | last updated:
Jump back to top of page button