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Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories (5)

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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 SALE (Reduced from $355)
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(& Gift-Wrap if Desired)
Layaway Terms Available 

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 and gift wrap is always free on request. Credit cards & e-checks are accepted securely at PayPal, subject to their limitations, and next-day shipment is usually available with online payment. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photographs. Thanks for looking!



Fascinating Antique Egyptian Revival Beaded Bag

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

Fascinating Antique Egyptian Revival Beaded Bag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$169
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(& Gift Wrap if Desired) 


Layaway terms are available for all our items priced over $150. Just e-mail and we'll arrange a schedule that works well for you.

Glancing at this marvelous hand-made bag, one first thinks "Art Deco" because of the Egyptian design motif - 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. One 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 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.

Free U.S. Priority Shipping
& 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!



Fabulous Rare Victorian Wood and String Shopping Basket

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1900   item# 99118

Fabulous Rare Victorian Wood and String Shopping Basket
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$365 SALE (Reduced from $445)
Free U.S. Priority Shipping
(& Gift Wrap if Desired)
Layaway Terms Available 



Ingenious, those Victorians! Here's one for the almost-beyond-belief department: a 19th century English carry-all of black cord and ebonized bentwood that's practically a piece of HAND LUGGAGE - and yet weighs almost nothing and even collapses to a size (about 9" x 8 1/2" x 1" thick) that we can store in almost any modern purse. When open, it's MASSIVE: roughly 13 1/2" long, 14" tall and 5 1/2" thick.

This treasure could be the star of anyone's handbag collection but, if you actually want to use it, you can. Astoundingly, it's in fabulous condition, showing only the slightest signs of wear.

Please e-mail for additional photos and be amazed by this rare and wonderful contraption, which I expect will find a home as a fascinating prop for film or stage productions, unless a passionate collector snatches it up first. Thanks for looking!



Rare Edwardian Beaded Purse w/ Superb Filigree Frame

Catalogue: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1910   item# 99089

Rare Edwardian Beaded Purse w/ Superb Filigree Frame
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


$135
Free U.S. Priority Shipping
(& Gift Wrap if Desired) 

Everything about this treasure screams *Edwardian* - the delicate sumptuousness of its frame that opens like a box; the miniscule size of the micro-beads and their romantic pastel colors, as well as the delicate sumptuousness of its frame that opens like a box and has a diagonally-mounted chain pretty enough to be a necklace. The ribboning floral pattern of the beadwork (identical on both sides) has Art Nouveau lines, executed with the uncommon lightness and restraint of the Edwardian era. An added plus is that it's quite large for an evening bag: about 8 inches by 7 inches, with a 20-inch chain.

How I wish this jewel of a bag were in perfect condition! You honestly don't notice the flaws except on close inspection, since there's so much beauty to see, but some fraying exists, mainly near the top, with small areas in which beads have been lost. Even so, it's a treasure with lots of wear left in it - and well worth restoring, if you have the skill or know someone who does. It needs only moderate restoration to be museum-quality and its exquisite antique floral filigree frame of this purse is worth far more than our price for the bag. (I've seen antique purse frames without a scrap fabric and not half so unusual priced elsewhere online at $300-400.)

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


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