A lady’s necessities, such as a fan, scent bottle and handkerchief, were carried in a small bag, or reticule, which was often circular or losenge-shaped. Mrs. Elton in Emma had a purple and gold reticule in which she had carried a letter. For carrying coins, a popular purse was was the ‘stocking’, or ‘miser’s purse’; long and narrow in shape, with an opening in the centre, it had two rings to close it and ornaments at either end. Many of these were knitted, netted, or crocheted, and making purses was a popular pastime; Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice considered netting a purse a female ‘accomplishment.’
P 150, Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style, Susan Watkins.