Fashion Crap: Vintage beaded purses, anyone?

So nearly a year ago I promised to piggyback my antique jewelry post with a look at some of my spiffy vintage beaded purses.  Most of these purses came from my grandfather, the king of pawns and master of the Bay Area flea market.  It’s also possible that one or two of them belonged to my great-aunt Alice.

But FIRST, my awesome silk shawl from the 1920s.  This is the famous Shawlhead shawl, ifyouknowwhatImean.

Silk 1920s shawl.
Shawlhead.
Kali in 1920s silk shawl. Photo by Lani Teshima.

Okay.  So onto the purses.  First up is a cute, cream-colored purse with machine embroidery and white beading.  It has a sparkly clasp and metal chain, and looks to be from the 1960s.  There’s no maker or shop mark on the lining to identify it…

Small flowered purse with beading.
White purse embroidery and beading detail.
Satin lining in the white beaded purse.

And now, a pretty pink wristlet/coin purse with beaded petals! Light-colored, transparent beads are interspersed with pewter-colored metallic beads on this lovely Belgian creation.  Looks like early sixties, or maybe even late fifties, to me.

Pink petal beaded purse.
Flower detail.
Inside the pink flower purse: Made in Belgium expressly for the Emporium, San Francisco!

Next, my pride and joy: a late-fifties-to-early-seventies beaded clutch in an orange-and-red checkerboard pattern.  The lining tells me it’s from Saks Fifth Avenue.  Swank!  😀

Red and orange beaded purse from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Beading Detail. There are gaps in the bead rows, but I'm not sure that any beads are actually missing.
The lining says Saks Fifth Avenue.
Inside the red Saks purse.

And finally, what looks to be a 1920s, or even teens, reticule.  It’s possible that the fabric top, drawstring, and lining are replacement, but I can’t tell for sure.

Reticule beading detail.
Beaded tassel.
The full beaded reticule, more or less.

And that’s it for now!  There are other purses, but I felt they weren’t as interesting as these.

If all goes well, I’ll be taking the red/orange Saks clutch with me to the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild “Mad Men” event on October 26.   Hey, it fits the “Age of Optimism” fashion theme perfectly!  😀

7 Replies to “Fashion Crap: Vintage beaded purses, anyone?”

Leave a Reply