Pineapple Shape Workbag
Pineapple Shape Workbag
Pineapple Shape Workbag
Pineapple Shape Workbag
Pineapple Shape Workbag
Pineapple Shape Workbag

Pineapple Shape Workbag
c 1800

This very large workbag, resembling a pineapple in a basket, is the largest I have ever seen, knitted in pina (pineapple) fibre for the export market. I understand that much of the fibre came from the Bukidnon region on the island of Mindanao, a highland, mountain dwellers wide province.  The region is considered to be the food basket of the region with pineapples, bananas and sugarcane being produced on the plantations. The woven areas of the bag would have been worked on a Tanhaga foot loom.

The flowers were embroidered over what looks like a cotton layer. I think the overall colour of the bag would have looked gold by candlelight. Perhaps this large bag was used for storing parfilage - the art of unravelling silver and gold lace from out of date dresses and furnishings. Carried out by upper class ladies in France, it became a craze, and soon spread to England where it was known as parfilage.

This was difficult to photograph. I have stuffed it with tissue to give it a shape.

From the collection of George and Margaret Watts. George’s collections ranged from cacti to 17th-century furniture, and Margaret acquired delicate needlework, and all its paraphernalia, as well as brooches. They both loved trawling through flea markets/auctions and finding things in ‘miscellaneous’ boxes pushed under tables. These interests led to the whole family joining the Sealed Knot.*  Margaret made costumes and George muskets and gun carriages. He was part of a section called the Trayne of Artillery.



Woven and Knitted pineapple fibre in gold/blonde shade wih six vertical panels of shaded coral or mauve and beige stylised flowers and green leaves on a tightly knitted ground, alternating with six openwork knitted panels, the top with similar openwork and drawstrings, each with a huge pineapple shape end with brown loops, the base in the shape of an oval basket with fibre covered wire.

Actual bag length without the gathered frill 12 in; 31 cm. With the frill 14 1/2in; 37 cm.


Very good.  A couple of the bound structural pieces on the boat shaped section at the bottom are broken. Easily repaired. Also the top frill has a very little damage, a slightly larger hole than the rest. Ask for photos.


An identical work bag is illustrated in A Passion for Purses by Paula Higgins & Lori Blaser. p 13 and p 253 and is in an American collection.  The bag was taken to America on the American ship Eliza in 1811.

*Sealed Knot. the oldest re-eanactment society in the UK recreating battles and events during the English Civil War in 1653. At the height of the Commonwealth period,** a group of Royalists seeking Charles II's return to the English throne formed a clandestine organization called the Sealed Knot.

**The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were governed as a republic after the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execution of Charles I.

 Fashioned from Nature Edwina Ehrman p 72

Bags Claire Wilcox p 40


Price: £1,400 | $1,790 | €1,650

Ref N°: 8424

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