Found in the Upper Deck alongside the Purser’s chest, our money-changer’s purse was brought to the surface on 20th June 1981. Much like Hatch, upon its initial resurfacing, the team were unsure on what exactly had been found - as such, we see the purse first enter the records as “4x leather strap with buttonhole and dowel, with leather fringe.” Unlike Hatch, however, no further pieces were recovered to allow for easy identification - and with no clear answer on what exactly this artefact was, it remained in one of the collections stores following its recovery and conservation.
If you’re familiar with the Mary Rose, you may have heard it said that we have a total of 19,000 artefacts in our care - though only a small percentage of these reside in the museum. The remaining artefacts are kept in environmentally controlled storage for several reasons - perhaps they are too fragile to be shown, similar objects are on display already, have not completed their conservation process, or, in the case of our purse, there is a lack of information or context to deliver to visitors. There are many items in our stores that have not yet been identified and remain a mystery to this day.