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Corde History??

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Erin Wells, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Erin Wells

    Erin Wells Registered Guest

    Hi all!

    I recently picked up my first Corde handbag and fell in love! I have been trying to do research on the history of CORDE handbags and find lots of listings, but cannot find out when they started and how late they were made. My understanding is they started in the 30s and were made until the 50s by a gimp rayon corde sewn to fabric, that some of the earlier pieces had lucite clasps, and that they were made in brown, black and blue.

    My question is, how can they be dated? I would like to add some more over time, but I want to be a little more educated before I buy another. Most, are listed as 40s. But I like to know early 40s? mid 40s? Late 40s? What if it is from the 30s or 50s? Are there ways to tell?

    Does anyone have a resource for the history of these bags?

    My same question goes for PlasticFLex and Telephone Cord bags, but I will save that for another day lol.

    Thanks a bunch!
    The Vintage Merchant likes this.
  2. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    Your corde info looks about right to me, although I would say its heyday was 1945-1955 and that most bags I have seen date from within this time frame. I have seen green and red corde as well as pastel stripes of various colours. Also hats in corde, presumably worn to match the purse.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  3. vintagevixen

    vintagevixen VFG Member

    This info is a good start. Most of the corde` we see is black or navy, though Jonathan's pastel bag above is a really beautiful exception to the norm. In terms of dating bags, it's pretty hard to pinpoint within a year or two, but a bit broader range is possible. Speaking in generalities, 1930s bags are smaller than 1940s ones, and the wartime 40s ones seem to have the most use of Lucite and plastics. But there are always exceptions to rules, so it's all just guidelines.

    You could gather vintage ads... with a large-enough collection of ads, you'd probably begin to see more subtle trends and influences over the years. Would be a fun project! :)

  4. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG Vice President Staff Member VFG Past President

  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    Great link Maggie! There is a lot of good info about bags in 1942 - just as the U.S. had entered the war and was working out how to avoid rationing by encouraging limitations in materials and product choices. Anyway, there is a lot of info about fabric bags becoming more imporant, including corde, so it looks like 1942 was when corde bags really took off:
    "Manufacturers of corde bags have been especially fast to get on the Victory band-wagon. Two entirely new and unique closings are shown here. The bag from Molomut has a closing that will probably become a basic construction with this house. The style photographed is one of two already in line. An envelope with a deep flap and similar tab construction is also available. It is important to note that the extra small tab will prevent the flap from slipping open.

    Using no frame, or metal, this top handle corde has a secure flap closing. Extra small tab prevents lock from opening. Inside compartments provide safe place for everything. From I. Molomut.

    Queen Leather Goods is patenting a new closing that comprises a strap arrangement. It is being used on six corde Victory styles including an underarm, a thumb handle, a pannier and a top handle.
    Although zippers and frames are still available, these bags make headline news. Get them! in stock quickly ... they're attention getters!"
  6. Erin Wells

    Erin Wells Registered Guest

    Thank you ALL for your wonderful information! I took your advice and found a really great Wonoco Pattern book from 1945 and my bag was in it! How exciting! I am not obsessed with finding more pattern books and learning about the different Corde bags!

    Jonathan, yours is amazing! What a unique piece! Thank you all again! This is so fun!
    The Vintage Merchant likes this.
  7. Vintagepursegal

    Vintagepursegal VFG Member

  8. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    Thank you for this fascinating information.
    Vintagepursegal likes this.
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    Great article - very thorough - and also love the article about the purse taxation in 1944!
    Vintagepursegal likes this.
  10. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

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