Edwardian handbags often range to sensible sizes and yet they're also the prettiest purses ever made -- rich with exquisite needlework and such dressmaker details as seam cording and truly luxurious linings (like the heavy champagne silk-satin you see here), plus fittings of greater refinement than in any other period. It was a very brief era, just a few years, but it set an abiding standard of quality in purses and jewelry.
I don't open the private vault often, but have decided to let this fabulous bag -- a star of my own collection -- fly free into the Wider World. It's a purse you can carry not only for special evenings, but also by day without looking overdone. Its large size (9" x 10") is an important part of its versatility. Although the gilt filigree hardware is as jewel-like as you'd expect from an Edwardian evening bag, this isn't one of those precious teensy models made strictly for the cocktails-and-dancing circuit.
I hope the next owner of this treasure -- made even more exceptional by its near-mint condition -- will see that it gets a great deal more use than ever before. It's certainly meant for a lady who leads an interesting life. Provenance of the bag is an estate in Scotland and dating is circa 1905-1910. Both sides are identical, except in the color of a few stitches that authenticate hand-craftsmanship. Its chain handle, possibly not original since it's a bit sturdier than I'd expect (but the right color), is 20 inches long.
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