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Exquisitely Embroiderered Antique Christening Cape

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1910   item# 1276555

Exquisitely Embroiderered Antique Christening Cape
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$225, reduced from $295.
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The Ultimate Baby Gift!

Among the most treasured family heirlooms are christening clothes: the long dresses also called robes (although they're lightweight and lacy) and the heavier capes or mantles worn over them to keep the new baby warm enough. This English mantle is a spectacular example of the latter, most likely 19th century Victorian and certainly no later than Edwardian. Although at least 100 years old, it's in marvelous condition -- clear testament to how greatly it was prized.

Christening mantles have been fashioned since the 18th century, when they replaced enormous "bearing cloths" so long and heavy with sumptuous decoration that it took a team of ladies to carry them into the church. The attendants followed along behind the godmother, who held the child wrapped in one end of it. Although that custom ended, the desire to dress the baby like a prince or princess didn't. Parents wanted their precious little ones to make their debuts before God and society in the most lavish mantles they could afford.

This one meets all the traditional criteria for excellence: luxuriously soft white and off-white fabrics, meticulous hand-stitching and beautiful embellishments. Fine embroidery adorns both its large scalloped cape collar and the smaller one at the neck, and two rows of pintucked pleats add dimension all around the voluminous hemline. The cape is almost as lovely inside as out, lined with whiter material including long gores of shimmering shantung silk just inside the front opening. The same lining treatment also appears on the reverse of both collars. I'm not certain what the fabrics other than shantung are -- perhaps heavier silk; they're tightly woven and as soft as a caress. There are a few very faint spots (mainly inside), which any skilled dry cleaner should be able to remove easily, and you may want to add ribbon ties at the throat. Alternatively, you could fasten it with a 'beauty pin' as was done in Victorian times. We have several antique bar pins that would be suitable.

Total length of the garment is 38 inches and it's so wide that I once wore it as an evening cape (to great acclaim), so keep this in mind if you'd like to get some extra use from it between family christenings. It would be stunning also as a wrap for a small bride having a cool-weather wedding.

This is a truly remarkable piece of history, with lots more history to make.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Superb Edwardian or Early Deco Beaded Black Bag

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1920   item# 1275852

Superb Edwardian or Early Deco Beaded Black Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$185, reduced from $235.
Free U.S. Priority Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired. 

This spectacular antique European evening bag has been a star of my personal collection for several decades. I don't open the private vault often, but this bag deserves to go out on the town regularly and, now that I'm back in New Mexico, gala occasions are rare.

Here you see a really marvelous example of Edwardian metalwork -- the loveliest clasps and purse frames in history -- combined with geometric decoration that anticipates Art Deco. The ornately formed and richly gilded filigree on this bag is among the most beautiful I've ever seen, and the beading is truly remarkable. Both the teensy round beads that trace out the edges of the bag and its strap and the much larger square beads lavished all over like starlight appear to be of silver-finished celluloid. The square ones gleam softly like mother-of-pearl, while the smaller ones seem to be glass until you touch them. Also of early plastic is the massive faceted clear stone that crowns the top of the clasp. This bag is an amazing mix of Edwardian elegance and Deco innovation, which could have been fashioned only when the former was phasing out as the latter phased in. A bag this chic almost certainly was made in France.

Its condition is as marvelous as when I acquired in England, since I've used it rarely. You have to search very hard to notice the few bead losses and it takes high magnification to note any surface wear (mainly at the corners of some of the square beads). Even the silk interior is pristine, still equipped with a mirror that was probably original.

Large enough to be useful, the bag measures about 6 inches by 6 3/4 inches and has a 3 3/4-inch carrying strap, the ideal length to suspend from a sash or belt for dancing.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Lovely Antique Beaded Peach Silk Evening Bag c1920

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1920   item# 1274468

Lovely Antique Beaded Peach Silk Evening Bag c1920
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$155, reduced from $195 for the holidays.
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Luscious color makes this one of the prettiest antique evening purses we've ever seen. Of peach silk, painstakingly hand-beaded with white and peachy-pink pearls, it measures about 7 inches by 4 1/2 inches. Probable dating would be the World War I era, since the bag's refined delicacy shows Edwardian influence, along with a hint of Art Deco. It's in superb condition, with no flaws except a few faint stains on the moire interior, hard to notice. There's a "Hand Made in Belgium" label inside.

We have quite a few glamorous little purses in stock now, so please search the phrase "evening bag," if you'd like to see more.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Superb Victorian Day or Eve Bag with Crystal Clasp

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1900   item# 1274437

Superb Victorian Day or Eve Bag with Crystal Clasp
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$175, reduced from $225 for the holidays.
Free U.S. Priority Shipping & Gift Wrap 

More than 100 years old but in near-mint condition, this bag can be firmly dated by its very round shape. Certain interior details also tell us we're looking at a *really* old purse, exquisitely made. Its pearl satin lining is hand-gathered (like the outer pouch) and an attached coin purse is present, lined to match the outer bag. There's hardly a spot anywhere, no stitches are loose and even the frame shows only minimal wear and snaps tightly shut around the prismic crystal clasp. Clearly this purse was used briefly by a lady in mourning, who subsequently stored it away.

Imagine the chic it will add to your outfits, whether for day or evening. You can carry plenty, too, since the pouch measures about 8" x 7" and expands to almost circular form. Clasp adds almost another inch in height and the strap is about 15".

We have quite a few glamorous little purses in stock now, so please search the phrase "evening bag," if you'd like to see more.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare Mid-Victorian Beaded Bag Early Plastic Frame

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 727055

Rare Mid-Victorian Beaded Bag Early Plastic Frame
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$295, reduced from $345.
Free US Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired. 

This extremely rare antique bag from an English dealer near Cambridge is sure to be a star in any handbag collection. I date it to the 1860s or 1870s, based on a confluence of factors. First off, its frame and chain are splendid examples of the earliest craftsmanship in plastic - so early, in fact, that there's no clasp! Thus, the custom of attaching purse chains diagonally to both sides was born for security (and continued into the Edwardian era, long after clasps became quite good). Another fascinating quirk is that a teensy screw fits through one side of the frame - for an unknown cause, since there are no other holes or hardware. (If you have any clue as to why that's there, please tell me!)

While I'm no authority on plastics, the style of this bag suggests the substance may well be the very first man-made plastic: Parkesine, unveiled by Alexander Parkes at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. An organic material derived from cellulose, it could be heated and molded, carved and even made transparent. However, it cost a lot to make and Parkes' investors soon pulled out. The search for an affordable faux-ivory tough enough to use as billiard balls continued and an American came up with celluloid (the first thermoplastic) around 1870. The next major advance was Bakelite in 1907 - *much* too late an invention to be what we see here.

Another thing that helps us date the bag is that Prince Albert died in 1862 and the Queen's deep mourning was widely emulated by other widows and the nation at large. This is clearly a mourning bag made for personal use, intended to be as fine a creation as an amateur could manage. The black fabric hand-stitched to its frame was lavishly hand-beaded with black and clear crystals in a starlike pattern often seen in old quilts. It's been cared for beautifully, too. One small hole seems to have been repaired long ago on the back (so well it's difficult to notice) and absolutely no other flaws are evident to me.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photographs. Thanks for looking!



Rare English Edwardian Summer Nightgown White Lacy

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1910   item# 558280

Rare English Edwardian Summer Nightgown White Lacy
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$150.
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired. 

Here's a change from the very covered-up Victorian and Edwardian nighties we usually see. It's a midsummer night's dream of a gown -- shorter, sleeveless and with a scooped neck, but still lavishly detailed, demure and made of the superb antique cotton that feels indescribably luxurious and simply won't wear out. Antique trims are astoudingly durable, too. Our modern laces wouldn't last on frequently laundered nightwear for more than a few years, but here, after a century or so, there's just one spot on the lace yoke that could use a few stitches. All seams are intact, being double-strength as was done in Victorian and Edwardian times, and I don't even see any old repairs on this gown (no doubt because it's sleeveless and most rips occur beneath sleeves). The ribbon tie has no doubt been changed several times through the years and that could stand to be done again. It's just a matter of running your favorite color ribbon through the lace casing and securing it at the sides.

The tie allows you to adjust fit in the upper bust area, which goes to a max of 40 inches. Beneath the yoke, the shape flares in an A-line, so there aren't any crucial points of fit. Length from shoulder to hem is about 38 inches -- well below the knee, but not swirling near the ankles like our other gowns.

All authentic antique nightwear is getting very thin on the ground and sleeveless ones are the most scarce, since fewer were made. England, where the best gowns come from, isn't exactly known for its long, torrid summers. Thus, this is an unusual opportunity to acquire a beautiful antique nightgown that will feel comfortable year-round in our modern climate-controlled homes.

There's no charge for insured U.S. delivery, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and beautiful gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Antique Victorian Nightgown c 1900 Long White Lacy

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1910   item# 557913

Antique Victorian Nightgown c 1900 Long White Lacy
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$150.
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift-Wrap if Desired. 

If you haven't slept in a Victorian or Edwardian nightie yet, you're in for a thrill. The quality of antique cotton fabric is like nothing we can buy new anywhere today, no matter how expensive. Its touch makes sleeping in it one of life's loveliest luxuries. Besides all that, these are so romantic. Without going into detail, this sort of gown has done me a lot more good through the years than Frederick's of Hollywood.

The gown is crisp and snowy white, detailed with exquisite pin-tucking and lace (even down the sleeves) and its fasteners are corded loops with mother-of-pearl buttons. If you look for them, you'll find the inevitable old repairs, but they're hard to notice (under the arm, for instance). You might want to replace exhausted elastic at the ruffled wrists, but it isn't really necessary, since the sleeves look fine full at the bottom. It's amazing how well these gowns withstand a century of wear and laundering. BTW, you don't have to obsess with ironing them. They're wonderful when crisply starched and pressed, but you're seeing this one straight out of the washing machine after air-drying on a hanger overnight.

The only crucial points of fit are the shoulders (about 14.5 inches between sleeves) and the bust (about 34-35). Length is 49 inches from just below the neck ruffle to the back hem.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rare Victorian Egyptian Motif Beaded Evening Bag

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 403013

Rare Victorian Egyptian Motif Beaded Evening Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$165.
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift Wrap if Desired. 

>Glancing at this marvelous hand-made bag, one first thinks "Art Deco" because of the Egyptian pattern - but another Egyptian Revival took place decades earlier in Victorian times (prompted by the opening of the Suez Canal). I'm much inclined to believe the purse is 19th century.The top detail that persuades me is the diagonal chain. It's attached to both sides, not just one, and it isn't ornamental; it was undoubtedly covered with fabric or ribbon originally. Too, the dainty floral pattern of the frame looks Victorian, without a hint of Deco geometry, and it has holes through which the bag was stitched directly onto the frame. The wide frou-frou edges of the bright red-orange lining aren't at all characteristic of the Deco period, either. Remember, major manufacturers had long been in operation by the mid-1920s, when the discovery of Tut's tomb started that Egyptian craze. Their production standards were as high as any the world has ever seen - whereas this bag is unlabeled and, by 20th century standards, primitive. By Victorian standards, however, it's quite grand and well worthy of all the handwork that went into it.

Setting age considerations aside, what we have here is a very heavily beaded bag with a lovely soft drape, rich colors and no major losses. On one side, a few small areas need rebeading - fortunately with simple clear glass beads that aren't hard to come by. The lining is not only intact, but unstained. Condition is impressive, even if we were talking about a bag from the 1920s, rather than a rare example from the 1860s or 1870s. It was purchased in England and very probably made there. Definitely it's one of a kind and thus extremely special.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Exquisite English Edwardian Rhinestone Clasp Bag

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1910   item# 348366

Exquisite English Edwardian Rhinestone Clasp Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


On hold; sale pending. $135 SALE
Was $175.

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& Gift Wrap if Desired 


This enchanting antique English purse revives Georgian neo-classicism, adding the airy elegance of Edwardian design. It has the most gorgeous clasp I've ever seen, shimmering with brilliant old paste rhinestones. The oval wreath shape - an inch tall and almost that wide - frames a central flower amid graceful leaves and is beautifully detailed with beaded edges. The pale white metal has the look of platinum, so is probably rhodium or chromium, which come from the same family).

Many things tell us this bag has seen very little use: the positive action of the clasp, the spring that remains in the elasticated inner pocket and, of course, the flawless condition of the fabric. Even the handle isn't worn. Finding a bag this old in such superb condition is almost miraculous, frankly. Size is about 5" tall (or 9" including handle) and width is 7 1/2" at the bottom. The tag inside had a logo including the letters G, F and R, along with the words "Made in England".

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Lovely Antique Ivory Silk and Lace Camisole c 1900

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Apparel: Pre 1910   item# 151712

Lovely Antique Ivory Silk and Lace Camisole c 1900
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$45, reduced from $75.
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift Wrap if Desired. 

This antique Victorian or Edwardian ivory silk camisole trimmed lavishly with cotton lace is a rare find -- pretty enough to wear as a blouse, not just a luxurious undergarment. In near-perfect condition, it needs only new ribbons at the shoulders and waist. Since the straps and drawstring should be precisely fitted to the new owner, I haven't replaced them. The silk is in superb shape, with only a few teensy holes toward the waist that don't look worth worrying about but need to be mentioned. Lying flat, the piece measures 17-1/2 inches across the lace, so would fit up to a 35-inch bust. Waistline, ungathered, measures about the same. You could put a thin elastic there, instead of a ribbon drawstring, if you prefer. Provenance is a Minnesota estate.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount for international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos.Thanks for looking!


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