Tuesday, April 22, 2014

1940s Hide-Away Garter Purse

Hide-Away Garter Purse 1940s. Jiffy Coin Purse Co. Suede mini purse (shaped like a tiny water bottle) to fasten to garter. Has metal snap (green with age on the underside) and original instructions and (torn) plastic packaging. “…easily attached to garter buckle inside your stocking” and “splendid gift for men and women.”

I adore vintage novelty purses, although I don’t think this was a novelty back in the ‘40s. I believe it was used for practical purposes. How cool is it that it not only survived this long, but is in such beautiful condition?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

1940s Jorues Plastic Tile Clutch

Black Early Plastic Tile Clutch. 1940s. Plastic Designed by Jorues. Black plastic textured tile clutch purse. The tiles are laced together with what looks to be flat leather strips. Zip top with celluloid (or other early plastic) pull. Lined in black grosgrain. Inner pocket. Grosgrain over cardboard change purse with mirror and sewing needle inside.

I have this thing about textures, and I love the Lego-ness of this type of purse. Although, I admit, I’m not a huge fan of Legos themselves, mostly because I tend to discover them in the middle of the night, with my feet. (Thank you, grandson.)

I have a number of these purses (don’t ask me what the number is—I’d have to go into The Pink Room closet to count), and I usually forgo purchasing more of them due to price, but this lovely example sold for ten bucks with free shipping. And you know I can’t pass up a deal like that!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

SPECIAL POST! Purse Mystery Solved!

On the Vintage Purse Gallery's Facebook page, I mentioned that I’d once read that a wicker fish purse like mine was used in a Joanne Woodward film. Vintage Purse Gallery reader, collector and seller Maxine said I should contact Kimberly Truhler of GlamAmor, http://www.GlamAmor.com. Kimberly copied my email to Kay Noske, http://www.moviestarmakeover.com/. Kay forwarded my query and photos to her group of intrepid movie fans, and sharp-eyed Danny sent a pic from the 1963 Woodward film “The Stripper.” Thanks to everyone who helped out and viva la film & fashion!

Monday, March 31, 2014

1960s Fleurette Tapestry Train Case

Tapestry Train Case. 1960s. Fleurette, Inc. Made in Italy. Beautiful tapestry fabric-covered train-style case. Opens at the top and folds over on each side via hinges. Goldtone metal hardware. Four gold feet. Lined in black vinyl. Interior zipper pocket.

I have always wanted a train case purse and this one was very reasonably priced. Some of them are out of my price range (by now, you know how cheap I am!). Plus it was tapestry, which I’ve never seen before, and it had a label, so I knew it was true vintage. Score!

Note: I’ve heard of Fleurette, and I’ve seen it used in conjunction with Faye Mell, a well-known 1960s purse manufacturer, but I don’t know if the Fleurette name was used by several manufacturers. I tried in vain to contact one of Ms. Mell’s family members to do an interview, as I have with others. I’m excited to write articles (in my "other" life, I am a professional freelance writer) about mid-century purse manufacturers or others involved in the vintage handbag industry, so please contact me at info(at)vintagepursegallery(dot)com if you know someone who would like to be interviewed for my purse sites.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Plasti-Mesh Frilo Clutch Purse

Plastic Tile Clutch Purse. 1940s. Plasti-Mesh Frilo. Super fun black and white tile clutch purse with the tiles looped together with black leather lacing. The tiles have bumps on them similar to Legos. Zip top with frayed black leather pull. Trimmed at the top in black leather lacing. Lined in black grosgrain with one small inner pocket. Attached by a string inside the bag is a small black grosgrain change purse.

I have a few of these beauties and am always on the lookout for more, but the price of vintage plastic—like everything else—has risen quite a bit. Some of the other makers of these bags include Plasticflex and Jorues. Check out the bonus pic below, featuring some of the other plastic tile purses in my collection.

And, in case you didn't see this fabulous find on our sister site, The Vintage Purse Gallery, check it out. I love vintage ephemera, and this was truly a prize! Look very closely to see what this '40s fashionista is holding...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

SPECIAL POST! J. Jolles Studios Booklet

Check out these pics from a 1955 booklet I just got from the UK. It's old advertising ephemera from the J. Jolles Studios of Vienna. Jolles was known for its petit point and needlepoint designs, including tapestries, chair covers and purses, which are in high demand. The fifth photo shows an employee placing the embroidered purse in its frame. I'm very excited to own this tiny piece of history!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

SPECIAL POST! TINY PURSES, BIG STYLE: Interview with Janet Granger, Dollshouse Embroidery Kits

Interview with Janet Granger, Dollshouse Embroidery Kits
By Wendy Dager

            When UK resident Janet Granger quit her unexciting library job in 1996, she had no idea that merging her embroidery skills with her love of all things miniature would lead her to create a business that has acquired enthusiastic patrons the world over.
            Dollshouse Embroidery Kits from Janet Granger is located at her residence in the lovely countryside of the Peak District in the middle of England.
            “I have always run the business from my home,” said Janet. “I have no wish to expand so that I have to go out to work each day—I love the flexibility of being able to mix my work and home life how I choose.”

            Fellow aficionados of dollhouse miniatures can easily go online to purchase Janet’s designs, including an array of carpets, wall hangings, bell pulls, cushions, samplers, fire screens, chairs and Christmas stockings. For vintage purse lovers, Janet has offered a selection of exquisite miniature needlepoint handbag kits since September 2012.

            “I had been thinking of doing handbag kits for several years, but I had to spend some time working out the best way to assemble them, and that took a long time to get around to,” said Janet. “But they have been my most popular line in the whole history of my business!”
            The kits, which consist of everything a crafter needs to make his or her own needlepoint bags, have romantic names including Berlin Woolwork, Delicate Flowers, Elegant Peacock, Jazz Age, Jewel, Pansies, Rose Reticule and Shell Pink.
            “They are all my own needlepoint designs, but I base them on ‘real’ bags that I have seen—either online, or in museums, or ones that I own,” said Janet. “But the process of ‘smalling down’ means that sometimes even I don’t recognise the finished design from the one I started with.”
Janet explains that it is necessary to implement a number of strategic design decisions during the process of miniaturizing such items.
 “There has to be only a limited number of colours in any design, as slight colour differences simply get lost at this scale,” she said. “Also, perspective can be a problem when there is only a limited number of stitches to fit the design in, so I tend to design fairly simple motifs.”

Her goal is to make the designs as easy as possible for the customer to satisfactorily complete the kits. Some customers own dollhouses, or are making a gift for a dollhouse owner. Often, the scale size replica owned by a client is a “Victorian ladies emporium,” requiring numerous purses in order to create an elegant—but miniaturized—window display. Janet conveniently offers the option of purchasing a set of eight handbag kits, in addition to individual kits on her user-friendly website, which receives hits from all over the world.
      “Websites are international, and so are my customers,” she said. “I sell a lot to Scandinavia, where the dollhouse hobby is very strong, especially in Finland. I also send a lot to the USA, and to Australia.”
            Although the purses are very small, Janet says they are not difficult to make, even for the novice. Needlepoint is akin to doing a half cross-stitch, which is fairly simple. The fabric is silk gauze, and the stitching is worked on silk gauze mounted in a card with an aperture, with the gauze taped to keep it taut.
“If you work in a good light, the holes are easy to see, and the stitching itself is easy,” said Janet. “You just count off the stitches from a colour block chart.”
She also offers a series of free online tutorials on her website, with exact instructions.
Even more wonderful news for those who love these gorgeous, vintage-look tiny purses is that Janet has added a different style of bag to her repertoire.

            “The original eight handbag kits have been so popular, that it has made me think of other types of bag design that could be done ‘small,’ so on February 1, 2014, I launched a new set of six clutch bags, so that people with a serious bag habit can now add to their collection,” said Janet.
Currently, she is considering creating a line of carpet bags, and those who share an avid appreciation for these miniatures have no doubt that they will be well-received.
            For more information: Janet Granger Designs, Rose Cottage, Leek Road, Waterhouses, Staffordshire, ST10 3JS England, Tel 00 44 1538 308860. Email: mail@janetgranger.co.uk Website: www.janetgranger.co.uk Blog: http://janetgranger.wordpress.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetgrangerdesigns Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/janetembroidery/ 
—Special thanks to Janet Granger for the interview and for sharing her beautiful purses with our readers. Photos used with permission of Janet Granger.