This item is a very small coin purse, made of mother of pearl with blue silk lining. The purse is marked "Jerusalem".

This coin purse was purchased in Jerusalem. It belonged to the donor's brother, Ernest Roy Rowlands, born 1890, who fought with the Manawatu Mounted Rifles in Palestine from September 1918 onwards as part of World War I.

The Ottoman Empire capitulated on the 31st October 1918, and Roy was not to return home until late 1919, no doubt leaving him time to sightsee and shop in Jerusalem.  The purse was used by the donor for church collection money.

The book, Reading Palestine: printing and literacy 1900 - 1948 by Ami Ayalon - University of Texas Press indicates that such souvenirs were common in Jerusalem:

"Bublus Meo's souvenir shop near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem carried ... 'olive, wood and pearl' artifacts, also tourist guidebooks according to its front door sign (which appeared in so many photographs of that vicinity before 1900)" - pg 83
 

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