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Help dating antique evening bag

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by LadyDisdain, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. LadyDisdain

    LadyDisdain Registered Guest

    I recently inherited an exquisite antique petit point purse from my great grandmother and have been trying to date it and if at all possible find out any other information I can about it's origins! It is approximately 4x5 inches (not including chain and tassel) and completely flat when shut.

    I haven't found anything quite comparable as far as the hardware- everything else I've found has hardware JUST at the top- this is a full frame encircling the needle point with a hinge at the bottom of the purse. The frame is thoroughly lacquered or enameled with bezel set gems.

    There are no makers marks. The frame appears to be hand cast, not machine made. The gem stones appear to be hand set in bezels. The chain links are soldered, not open links. The metal is non magnetic and presumably brass. The tassel is very well made with multiple pieces, and spins. The tassel chain is composed of individual tiny links- very high quality.

    The gems appear at a glance to be old European cut or old mine cut- it's difficult for me to tell with the bezel setting and without a loupe. They might be Sapphire, Ruby, and Pearl- the colors look right for gems of that era, but I haven't had them tested. The gems look much finer in person than they do in my photographs. There are no missing gems and no scuffs on the surface of the gems, which suggests that they aren't faux- the location of the chain would easily scuff the surface of the larger stones.

    There is either an an enamel or lacquered pattern on the frame. It is somewhat faded and chipped. It looks a bit more William and Morrisy Victorian rather than Deco to my eye, but that's not my area of expertise by a long shot. I can't tell if the gold is gilded or just gold colored.

    The petit point appears to be done by hand on silk gauze. I'd guesstimate the fabric count to be in the 50-60s. Embroidery is a hobby of mine, and this is very expertly done.

    The lining appears to be hand sewn, fabric appears to be silk. There's a cord covering the edges that is glued, but it's unknown if the glue is original. There is no elastic, the pouch is created by gathers.

    Over all, it's a high quality item crafted with a lot of skill in each element.

    The purse is believed to have belonged to my great-grandmother's aunt. My great grandmother was born in 1909 in Iowa, USA. Her aunt, who was exceedingly wealthy, raised her. I believe Aunt Marion was born in Iowa as well, but that her father was from Alsace-Lorraine, France.

    Link to photos on Imgur:

    Even if you can't help date, I hope you enjoy the pictures of this beautiful item!
  2. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

  3. thevintagebungalow

    thevintagebungalow VFG Member

    I am far from a expert on purses or on earlier vintage but I feel this might be Victorian. Hopefully someone will come along with more information.
  4. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality VFG Treasurer

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  5. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality VFG Treasurer

    And another one which sold recently and was described as Victorian
  6. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have had a look through my books... you don't really see longer straps/chains before 1900, so I don't believe Victorian is really it. Ditto for evening/dance bags. Victoria's Google link above shows some more search results that identify bags that are a little more different but still in a similar vein as 1910s - I have a feeling that that is more accurate.
    Vinclothes and Vintagiality like this.
  7. LadyDisdain

    LadyDisdain Registered Guest

    Amazing, thank you all so much! Both of those frames look nearly identical to mine- I wonder if it was common to start with the same base frame and add in differing details.

    I appreciate your help so much :)

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