Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Floral Needlepoint Handbag. 1960s. Maker: ADG Fashion Imports. Beautiful, well-constructed leather bag with the front completely covered in a floral needlepoint design on a black needlepoint background. This purse was made in Hong Kong, as were a lot of bags from this era, which makes me sad, because of all the trouble we’re having with imports from China these days. I just hope no one ever issues a recall on handbags from the ‘60s. That’d pare my collection down way too much.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wicker Purse with Poodle Motif. 1960s. Maker: Princess Charming by Atlas. Gorgeous natural wicker handbag with marbleized brown plastic and silvertone hardware. Front features a plastic-covered scene of two playful poodles, one on a leash and one chasing a yellow butterfly. Poodles are adorned with black shells, a common design element among the Atlas purses, because many of them feature a sea-life motif. Some of the shells have fallen to the bottom of the plastic, but it doesn’t detract from the other details, like the sparkly mesh background, rhinestones, flower beads and gold rickrack. Let’s face it—this is just the cutest purse ever. Or, at least, in the Top Ten.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Large Gold Box Purse with Cameo. 1960s/70s. Maker: Unknown. Briefcase-sized bag features a gold faux leather exterior and handle and a goldtone cutwork frame that reminds me of those late ‘60s/early ‘70s perfume-mirror trays. Oddly, and for no reason whatsoever, there’s a painted cameo, featuring a pair of frolicking lovers, glued to the front center of the purse. The cameo is surrounded by clear rhinestones, as if it may have been a brooch prior to being a purse adornment. I have a feeling someone added it later—someone who didn’t think her huge, heavy, gold bag didn’t make quite enough of a statement.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Convertible Tapestry Handbag. 1960s. Maker: Unknown. Large upholstery fabric-covered purse with removable cover. Underneath is a solid black bag. Acrylic handle and sturdy goldtone hardware. This thing weighs a ton. It was featured in the video I made when I entered USA Network’s 2006 “Show Us Your Character” contest. I billed myself as a freelance writer and vintage clothing aficionado, and there’s an embarrassing scene in which I struggle to get the cover off the bag. I imagine this display of my ineptitude, along with my mannequin losing her wig, is what helped me to win a first-place prize in the contest.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lucite and Gold Thread Box Bag. 1950s. Maker: Unknown. Fabulous vintage box-style handbag with pearlized grey Lucite top, acrylic handle and a lightweight plastic see-through base that shows vertical and horizontal gold threads. Metal frame and hardware. While I don’t have a lot of these types of bags, I get a little chill when I see one in an antique store or at a vintage show. They’re just so ladylike and elegant.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Casino Kit Purse. 1960s. Maker: General Crafts Corp. This is the newest--and the coolest--addition to my extensive collection of kit purses. The very week that I commented that I was coveting a gambling-themed kit purse, I discovered this gorgeous work of art at an online auction. I’m a very lucky gal when it comes to finding treasures. I just hope this purse brings me luck next time I play poker!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Birds and Flowers Kit Purse. 1960s. Here’s another of my vintage kit purses, made by a creative crafter back in the late 1960s or early ‘70s. The purse is possibly from a General Crafts Corp. kit, but there were other brands available for purchase at that time, including Tandy and Sophistikits (made by Collins). This is nicely done with jewels forming the birds’ bodies and other shiny trims and notions for the branches, leaves and flowers. It's different than most kit purses in that it's a closed bag and not the open-ended tote-style, which makes it more pickpocket-resistant. (Pickpurse-resistant?) It’s hard for me to remember what I paid for most of my purses, but this one, which I bought about five years ago, cost me ninety-nine cents, the least expensive purse in my collection. A beauty AND a bargain!

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fruit and Wine-Themed Wicker Purse. 1960s/70s. Maker: Midas of Miami. Gorgeous large wicker handbag with fabric appliqu├ęs in the shapes of wine bottles and fruit, which are accented by glitter and faux gems. Gold braid handle and goldtone hardware, plus a satiny green fabric interior. I love Midas bags for their variety and the creativity of the artists who made them. My community is having a “Vino Jazz Festival,” which I wasn’t planning to attend, but now I have the perfect purse for it!

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Needlepoint Handbag. 1960s/70s. Maker: JR Florida. Large royal blue woven fabric bag with the front done entirely in needlepoint. The detail is fabulous. It features a yellow chalet with a lawn and foliage, and a lovely pink-blossomed tree in the foreground. I like this purse because my own house is big and yellow, only it's not a chalet. It’s more of a hideout. Where I hide out. Except when I emerge to go shopping for more purses!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sock-it-To-Me Lunchbox. 1968. Maker: George Schlatter-Ed Friendly Productions and Romart. Inc. Bright yellow oblong vinyl lunchbox with white handle, zipper, and Laugh-In’s Sock-it-To-Me logo appearing multiple times on the front. Yep, I’ve used this as a purse, and, yep, there are some people out there who aren’t old enough to remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. I am, but just barely. I swear.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Tooled Leather Clutch. 1950s. Maker: Unknown. Lovely Mexican leather large clutch purse with a tooled floral design. What makes this unique is the name “Agnes,” which is etched onto the front of the purse in a beautiful cursive, with leafy accents. Most of my tooled bags are from the ’60s or ‘70s, but I believe this one is older because of the name. I love the name “Agnes.” I have a coffee mug with the name “Agnes” on it. My next pet will be named “Agnes.” I even like writing “Agnes.” OK, I’ll stop now.

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Expanding Leather and Bakelite Purse. 1940s/50s. Maker: Bogan. Beautiful black leather purse, trimmed in a gorgeous brown Bakelite frame, which doubles as an expanding device that reveals three inner compartments. Has a leather strap and a leather closure, which reaches up from the bottom to snap at the top. I’m not sure if I’m getting the maker name right, as it looks as if it says “Bogan,” but the writing is stylized, so it's a bit hard to make out. It’s got a fawn logo, so if you know anything about it, please leave a comment or send an email. The bag was given to me by my husband’s mother, a very stylish woman, born and raised in Switzerland. Have you ever seen a purse this nifty? I don’t use it too often because it’s hard to fit a bulky wallet and cell phone inside the relatively flat compartments, but, when I show it to people, it’s always a surprise. Expand-o-matic!

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