Groam House Museum
This Celtic-design handbag was used by Jessie Bain, the wife of artist George Bain, although it is not certain who made it. The initials ‘JB’ and the date ‘1937’ are embossed inside.
George Bain (1881 – 1968) was an artist and educator born in Scrabster in Caithness. Bain was captivated by intricate Pictish stones, early medieval illuminated manuscripts, and ornate metalwork from Britain and Ireland. He made detailed drawings of the designs and created an instruction method to help others to recreate them through a series of simple steps.
The circular bag is a dark brown leather with embossed decoration on both faces. One side shows knotwork and the other a Greek key – a decorative, repeated pattern made from a continuous line. This pattern symbolises ‘infinity’ or ‘eternity’ and is often found in jewellery