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Corbeau handbag question

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by twolittlebeauties, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. twolittlebeauties

    twolittlebeauties Registered Guest

    I have an ostritch handbag from Corbeau and was wondering if anyone knows the difference between Corbeau and Corbeau curio?

    Not sure if it is a difference in time period or if one is a less priced line or?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s Trade Member

    well, curio means leather. sorry, that's all the help i've got :)
  3. peaceful vintage

    peaceful vintage Administrator Staff Member

    Hi, Could you mean Caribou?

    There is a Caribou ostrich leather and then there is the Caribou animal which is a type of deer.
  4. twolittlebeauties

    twolittlebeauties Registered Guest

    No, the company is called Corbeau. It is an ostritch purse. Mine has just a gold plaque in there that says Corbeau but I am seeing others with a black label that says Corbeu Curio.

    thanks for the information!
  5. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Without any images of the purses, I'm wondering if the others are "Corbeu Curio" to indicate they're made of leather, but yours does not because it's made of a different material (ostrich hide).

  6. peaceful vintage

    peaceful vintage Administrator Staff Member

    Hi, I still don't know the answer but I did find Corbeau Curio purses and they were beautiful.

    A handbag made from the hide of Ostrich is still leather. It is just Ostrich leather. When the raw hide of any animal is used to make a handbag the handbag is leather from whatever animal the hide is from.

    The only differences I could think of could possibly be;
    a product/brand/logo change
    Corbeau Curio being leather and just Corbeau not leather.

    Sorry that still does not really answer your question.
  7. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    thanks for the lesson vgirl, but I know that ostrich hide is still leather - but having seen many ostrich hide handbags, they do not have labels that mark them as "leather" which generally refers to the hide of the cow.

    If you have a photo of an ostrich hide handbag that is marked "leather", please feel free to correct me. In the meantime I shall refer to my thirty plus years of experience.

  8. peaceful vintage

    peaceful vintage Administrator Staff Member

    Nicole, I respect your experience very much and I know you are very knowledgable and helpful. I have specialized in furs and animal skins for many years. I am only sharing the information I know pertaining to the topic to try to figure out the difference with the original poster.

    There are Ostrich skin bags as well as other types of leathers that are labeled Corbeau Curio so the difference between it being cow hide or ostrich hide is not the difference between the two labels.

    I have also now found bags that were both Ostrich leather and one was labeled Corbeau Curio and the other was labeled Corbeau so it can't be one is Ostrich hide and one is not.

    As Nicole said, maybe some photos would help.
  9. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    I've been doing some google research - you know how I get a bug for these things.

    In french Curio means the same as in english - a curiosity, a curious object, a rarity. (Corbeau means raven in French - they have a raven on their label, I've read that they are a French company. It's also a surname). Personally, I don't think it does mean leather, but I'd be happy to be corrected on that. Cuero means leather in Spanish, but I can't find that Curio means leather in any language?

    I've seen similar Corbeau labels, with and without Curio - I haven't seen a gold plaque that the OP described, though I've read of it in a description. Here's two examples.


    It seems more likely, as the OP says, it's either a different time period when they labelled their bags Curio, or a different line.

    They do seem to specialise in exotic skins - every bag I've seen has been an exotic: ostrich, elephant, goat, zebra, buffalo. I wonder if they used the word Curio in their brand as a reflection of that? - ie an unusual skin, a curiosity, a rarity.

    The bags without Curio on the label were also exotic skins, so I don't think it's being used simply as an indicator of skin type.

    The two bags I've seen without Curio were from the 80s, and all the ones I've seen with Curio were from the 60s, or possibly 70s. So perhaps they simply stopped using the word Curio at some point, between the 70s and 80s. I can't find any 80s bags with Curio, nor any 60s bags without it.

    I'm just hypothesising. I haven't managed to find anything definite, and can't find any company information.

  10. peaceful vintage

    peaceful vintage Administrator Staff Member

    Golden Age, Thank you for the good photos and information. I saw that information in google too.

    I saw both Corbeau Curio Ostrich bags and Corbeau Ostrich bags online so the thought of the difference being the skin type as you stated was out.

    Twolittlebeauties has a bag with Corbeau on the label. I am not sure that she has a bag with Corbeau Curio on the label.

    Twolittebeauties, posting photos of your handbag and label may help to determine the reason behind the different labels as Nicole mentioned.
  11. twolittlebeauties

    twolittlebeauties Registered Guest

    Sorry it took me so long to get back!

    Here are the photos. I was thinking it was an 80's bag, so I think the time frame theory is probably he correct one.

  12. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    I have nothing to add from any special knowledge of this company, so the only observation I have is that I think you are correct in that the difference in wording is an evolutionary sort of thing over time. In general, bags with that sort of round seal or label were earlier. With the two oval ones that look similar, the "Corbeau" on label with the "Curio" is set in a style of typeface that's a bit more old-fashioned than that on the label without the "Curio." The heavier sans-serif face was likely used more recently than the other. And you see the metal tags come into being later on. I've seen this with a number of bag makers' labels, so I would guess it's the explanation behind this. But, maybe not!
  13. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    I received this today via facebook. The son of the founder says he removed the word curio from the brand.

    "Hi I notice article re Corbeau.
    Well, being the son of the founder, Ludwig Kasper Kurth in 1947 and running the company for fourty years as a family company, please note the following re Corbeau Curious.

    I changed the product name to Corbeau, took away the word curio as I felt same was more in line with the 50 to 1960 years.

    Running of the company and production was always based on the Kurth tradition as passed down from father to son.
    The company was sold 2013 as the family moved abroad.

    Walter Kurth"

    Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 13.22.55.png
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  14. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

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