Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black and Clear Crystal Purse. 1960s. Maker: Unknown. Sweet little bag made of white satiny fabric, with sewn-together faceted oblong crystal and circular black beads in a floral pattern. In excellent condition and very well-made. And awfully dang cute.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Yellow Straw and Vinyl Tote with Money Bag Appliqués. 1960s. Maker: Caron of Houston, Texas. Huge straw purse with yellow woven raffia and shiny yellow vinyl side panels, closure and handles. There are also sparkly gold woven threads within the body of the bag itself, plus giant gold money bags featuring faux amber gems and gold thread drawstrings; plus glued-on gold coins. I’ve seen lots of purses with the coin theme, but this is by far the most garish. And wonderful. Wonderfully garish.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whimsical Jams and Preserves Purse. 1960s. Maker: Souré Bag New York. Plastic-covered (like grandma’s couch!) fabric handbag, with a pattern of grape vines and pantry full of preserves. There’s an abundance of intricate stitching that accents the design, as well as black beading to look like nails in the “wood” of the pantry, along with random rhinestones for sparkle. Metal clasp and plastic-covered fabric handle. Souré’s designs are the epitome of whimsical. If you happen to know anything about the brains behind this company, please e-mail me.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Briefcase Purse with Real Working Phone. 1970s. Maker unknown, but likely Dallas Handbags. Black faux alligator bag with pushbuttons, giant grommets to resemble an old-fashioned phone dial, black plastic handset and a wire inside to connect it to a phone jack. The handset fits inside the handle on top and there’s a detachable strap (not pictured).

The most desirable of these handbags are the red ones, but I was lucky enough to score this black one for a fairly reasonable price.

Completely unrelated side story: My husband, a telecommunications contractor, owned one of the first cellular phones in the mid-1980s. It was huge and heavy and came in a hard-sided briefcase. We had a friend in the mobile phone business, so he sold it to us "wholesale." I cried when I wrote out the check for $1,350. I'll never forget the amount—it was more than our mortgage payment!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Wicker Purse with 3-Dimensional Vegetables. 1950s. Maker: Midas of Miami. White-painted wicker purse with gold and white braided handles that are typical Midas, my favorite purse manufacturer. The purse is decorated with velveteen leaves and satin fruits and vegetables including a strawberry, corn, carrot and pastel pea pods with faux pearl peas. It’s faded from exposure to sunlight, but, really, at this age, who isn't?


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hey, everyone! After a year-long hiatus, this old bag is back with more of her old bags! Thought I’d start everything off with a sweet little purse that’s a definite rarity.

Pink and White Coil Cord Purse. 1940s. Maker: Unknown, but possibly the Plasticoil Company. Baby pink and white plastic coils decorate this cloth bag, which has a zipper with goldtone circular pull, black patterned lining, and coil-covered handle.

These are sometimes called “telephone cord purses,” but that’s erroneous, since phones—and their colors—as we know them now weren’t available in the ‘40s. I have several coil cord purses, but when I saw this rare pink and white one, I jumped at the chance to own it. Most coil bags are either multi-colored or ivory, but I've seen them in navy, red and brown. Never pink. This one is a real gem.