The instructions give an alternative pattern of gold flat braid on purple velvet with embroidered red roses and green shamrocks.
It is a nice pattern because the purse is a little more substantial than a crocheted or knit bag and it is of a pretty decent size, especially for those of us accustomed to modern purses. In the mid-1800s, a reticule only held a few coins and a handkerchief, although a sewing machine company in 1862 advertised that they has a machine "so light and portable (weighing less than one pound) that it can be conveniently carried in the pocket or reticule."
As fabric is easily damaged, many original metal purse fasteners can be found online or at antique shops. If you do your research into what kind of styles and fasteners were available, you may even be able to find some modern bags with clasps at thrift stores that can be repurposed. But make sure you really research, you don't save any money if you end up buying something you can't use.
Purse closing example from the Met.
Screw closing example from the Met.
For some purse inspiration, check out this awesome Pinterest board by Muriel.