I know this blog is becoming Vintage Purse When I Can Get to It, so I offer my sincerest apologies. Good news, though—I’m working on setting up my very own shop at http://www.rubylane.com/, an online antique mall. I’ll let you know when the shop goes “live,” but, meanwhile, here’s an adorable white and clear plastic ‘50s purse made by the Theresa Bag Co. (which I initially read as "There's a Bag Co., damn my eyes) of Lyndhurst, NJ. It’s tiny, so it’s probably meant for a child. Which means when I have grandkids, I’m… um… hiding it. Yeah, I don't have 'em yet, but I’m already a lousy grandma.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Wicker Purse with Ocean-Motif Window. 1960s. Maker: Unknown. White painted wicker handbag with pearlized plastic handle and closure, and goldtone hardware. On the front is a “window,” behind which you can see multicolored shells, faux pearls, plastic coral and (also plastic) seahorses, all glued onto a piece of lace, covered with thick plastic, and accented by glued-on gold rickrack. These purses are very typical of those that came out of Florida in the ‘60s, making use of the natural materials that were easily available. I mean the shells. Not the plastic seahorses.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wooden Box Bag. 1960s. Maker: Gary Gails. Small cigar box-style handbag made of wood and decorated with geometric wood shapes, then stained. What you can't see: The intricate dovetail joints. This purse was created by Gary Gails (aka Gary Gail without an "s") of Dallas, known for his many purse styles, especially those made of wood. On the inside, opposite the built-in mirror, it says “Collectors Item by Gary Gails Dallas – Decorated for You – Japan.” Isn’t that nice? He knew it would be a collector’s item. Owned by a collector. Who collects items. Prophetic!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Zigzag Tapestry Bag. 1960s. Maker: Unknown, but suspect it to be a Faye Mell. Black vinyl purse with zigzag three-dimensional upholstery-style fabric in rich autumn colors on the front. Goldtone accents, hardware and feet. I love tapestry bags and have a number of them. They’re big, they’re bulky and they feeeeeeel nice. For me, it’s all about the texture and the 3-D effect. I also have a lot of “Ribbon Lady” pictures from the ‘30s-‘60s, as well as a collection of Victorian hair jewelry, if that tells you anything—like, for instance, that I have some sort of psychological disorder.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Poodle Kit Purse in Original Box. 1960s. Maker: General Crafts Corp--Fabulous Jewel Tone Handbag. Another make-by-number masterpiece from my collection of late '60s kit bags; this time it’s the poodle, with its black curlicue design on the linen-look tote; black sequin trim; clear, amber and red rhinestones and jewels; and, of course, the requisite Eiffel Tower in the background. Why? Apparently because poodles hang out at the Eiffel Tower. At least, that’s what you’d think if you were an alien visiting from another planet and came across a collection of ‘60s poodle purses.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Peek-a-boo Plastic Bag with Gold Leaf Design. 1960s. Maker: Leslie of Miami. Fabulous, large cream-colored fabric bag with golden freeform beaded leaf design, covered entirely by plastic. Goldtone chain handle and goldtone closure. Silver piping at the edges. I don’t know what brilliant soul thought to preserve these bags by laminating them, but, as I’ve said before, it reminds me of grandma’s couch. For those of you too young to remember, '60s-era grandmothers always covered their orange flocked velvet couches in a thick plastic that we’d adhere to in the hot summer months, bare-legged and sweaty. Thanks, grandma, for the memories. And for the skin grafts.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Black Evening Bag with Flower Basket Motif. 1960s. Maker: Caron of Houston. Black stretch-knit fabric bag with hundreds of multi-colored beads glued on in a flower-and-basket pattern. There are also some faux jewels, and four gold-toned flowers on the basket. I have a bunch of Caron of Houston bags, many of which feature tiny, glued-on beads. You can imagine how this makes for some serious indecisiveness on semi-formal occasions. “Should I take the black one with the beads? Or the black one with the beads? Or maybe the black one with the beads?”
Ah, life's difficulties.
Ah, life's difficulties.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Laminated Magazine Clutch. 1960s/70s. Maker unknown. Hard plastic clutch purse made from the cover of an Elegance Paris magazine, featuring a sultry brunette. The cover was wrapped around a plastic case and then laminated. Brown leather snap closure. I heard these bags were created to deter purse-snatchers. “What, me carry a purse? Don't be silly! It’s just a magazine. With, um, my wallet and lipstick in it...” Now they’re a fashion statement. But, as with many vintage bags—let the collector beware—reproductions are being made and sold as old. Note: The doll holding the purse was a gift from me to my mom when I was a kid, in the 1970s. Mom gave it back thirty years later. I have no idea why. It's so classy.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Collins Jalopy Purse. 1960s/70s. Maker: Collins of Texas. Hobo-style textured tan linen-like bag with black leather accents and painted-on car, with the word “Jalopy” and lots of trademark Collins jewels and flowers. I like this one because it’s so transportable. You can fit your phone, glasses and wallet in it and it’s still smallish; plus it’s got a long strap, unlike the more awkward box bags. Also, it’s adorable. And I like adorable.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Postage Stamp Purse. 1960s. Shiny, plastic-y, textured, woven and braided paper-chain purse, interspersed with postage stamps and made in the tradition of the more common cigarette-pack purses. This is one fascinating purse. It’s a shame she’s in such poor condition. She’d probably be usable as a clutch if I removed her strap, but I don’t want to, even though I’d love to dissect the stamps to see if they’re real or if they were simply Xeroxed and laminated. Oooooh. Dissection. So very tempting. I even have a vintage nurse’s uniform to wear while I do it. But I’m not. Or am I?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
San Francisco Cable Car Kit Purse. Late 1960s. Fabulous JewelTone General Crafts Corp. kit purse featuring a bejeweled red, gold and black #501 cable car with “Powell Mason Sts.” And “Powell and Market – Fisherman’s Wharf” and “Flower Show” signs. There are silhouette people inside the cable car and a streetlight, fence and pagoda roof on the outside. Lots of jewels, faux pearls and trim. I just realized I’m about to lose a piece of the black string “track.” You can see it dangling in the photo. Now, where’d I put that fabric glue?
Monday, July 9, 2007
Vintage-Style Modern Wicker Poodle Purse. 2004. Maker: Cappelli Straworld. White-painted wicker poodle purse with button-and-rhinestone eyes, pink-painted nose and faux pearl necklace. Elastic and pearl closure. I was somewhat reluctant to list this one, because it’s not true vintage, but I did show here another reproduction bag, which I picked up at Goodwill. Thing is, Goodwill didn’t advertise it as vintage, but I see a lot of dealers selling Cappelli bags as such. I love wicker figurals and I got this one for twenty bucks at an antique store—not too bad, because I’ve seen the same modern doggie purse for hundreds of dollars at vintage shows, being sold as authentic 1950s. You can tell the difference because of the excellent condition—most oldies show some wear of the wicker, paint and/or stretching of the elastic closure. Also, this one has a necklace as its handle, and many ‘50s/’60s animal shapes have a leash-like ring around their necks for you to transport them. I called Cappelli Straworld in Florida, and the woman who answered the phone was vague about the poodle—at first, she said it was “old,” but when I got her to elaborate, she admitted that it was from “three years ago.” Which isn’t exactly what we collectors consider vintage, so please be aware of this if you are a stickler for the real thing. Still, she’s a fab bag and she’s perfectly at home next to my other, truly vintage wicker dog purse, which you’ll see another day.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Wood and Wicker Horse and Carriage Box Bag. 1960s. Maker: Gaymode. Wicker box-style purse with wood insert on the front, featuring a hand-painted design of a man driving a horse and carriage. Wicker handle. Goldtone hardware, including “feet” at the bottom. Some wear to the paint, but still a fabulous piece. I told Sweetheartville that, recently, when I was at a swap meet, checking out the felt poodle purse below, I was carrying this one, and the guy from whom I was buying the poodle purse started to give me a price for the wicker one. Had to tell him it was already MINE. Hmm. I just realized that “MINE!” is one of the first things we train our toddlers NOT to say. I guess vintage purses can make one regress in the worst way.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Black Felt and Beaded Poodle Tote. 1960s. Maker unknown. Fabulous black felt tote with thick plastic lining—you can see some of it near the top of the bag—and a black beaded poodle appliqué with three-dimensional gold leaves and flowers. Amber jeweled eye and blue jeweled nose. Black plastic handles. And, best of all, the previous owner’s plastic comb, half-stick of Wrigley’s gum and donation envelope for the Lake Providence Baptist Church in Lake Elsinore, California are still in the pocket. Some of you might be a tad grossed out by a used comb and petrified piece of gum, but I was thrilled.
All right, so, maybe my kids are right about me.
All right, so, maybe my kids are right about me.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
White Wicker Capricorn Purse. 1960s/70s. Maker unknown, but has a tag inside that says “Hand Made in British Hong Kong.” White-painted wicker boxy handbag with faux Lucite handle and closure. The front features a glued-on cloth with “Capricorn – 12-22 – 1-20 – Loyal – Able – Serious – Sports” done in needlepoint. Orange and green velvet trim add a splash of color, and there are two circular felt pieces that presumably signify the astrological sign, but the ink has worn with age. I am a Capricorn and the words on the front totally cracked me up. Able, serious and into sports I most certainly am not. Loyal I am, but you have to get past my skepticism first.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Marble Lucite Diamond-Shaped Purse. 1950s. Maker: Wilardy. Marble-patterned grey Lucite purse in one of the most unusual shapes I’ve ever seen—diamond, which, of course, is a girl’s best friend. Goldtone closure. Mirror inside. Some wear, but not too bad, considering its age and where my husband found it—fifteen years ago, at a ramshackle antique store in Hemet, California. It cost him eight bucks, and I was thrilled to receive it from my beloved as the most thoughtful of gifts. I'm sure other collectors would agree that it's even better than an $800 diamond bracelet.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Model A Decoupage Wooden Box Bag. 1970s. Maker unknown. Fun and unique handcrafted eight-sided wooden box purse with magazine cutouts of various types of Ford Model As—including roadsters, pickups and coupes—decoupaged onto each section. I remember how popular it was back in the ‘70s to burn the edges of a photo or document to make it look older, and that’s what a crafty person did to these pics thirty-some years ago. I do not, however, remember the popularity of the Model A, as I am not quite that ancient. I bought this purse because my husband has a 1928 Ford Model A that he’s restoring, so I thought it’d be cute to carry it when we went cruising. The restoration is on hold due to life’s priorities, so the purse waits patiently for its inaugural ride.