Granite Pail Collectibles

Purse, Gemstone Clasp, Royal and Theatrical Provenance


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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Textiles: Accessories: Pre 1920: Item # 1071382

Please refer to our stock # PC1491a when inquiring.
Granite Pail Collectibles
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P. O. Box 5353
Takoma Park, MD 20912
301-589-5834

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This is a sweet little purse with an interesting provenance. It’s made of a lovely woven pink patterned silk and features a ruby and diamond clasp. Inside, there are two cartes de visite, which hint at its ownership. The first is a card inscribed “Madame Edouard de Heller/Princesse Clementine de Saxe Cobourg Gotha”. Written in hand, in French: “I was very touched by the attentions of your nice daughter. I hope that on your return from the mountains in July you will telephone us one day at Bougy St Martin and that we will have the pleasure to see you at our home.” (my translation!). The other card is inscribed Mrs. Harley Granville-Barker, with the handwritten note “Dear Geoffrey, Could you give this little souvenir please to Miss Boden-Smith with my memories of her as a lovely child and all my good wishes for her happiness? Thank you!” Clementine (1897-1975), was the daughter of August Leopold, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1867-1922) and Karoline, Archduchess of Austria (1869-1945). She married Mr Edouard von Heller (1877-1970) in 1925 and had three children. Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria was the cousin of Clementine's great-great-grandfather, August, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, (1818-1881). Harley Granville-Barker (1877–1946) was an English actor-manager, director, producer, critic and playwright. Late in his career, he married his second wife, the American Helen Huntingdon (to whom this purse must have belonged), and settled in Paris. At her instigation he gave up all contact with the theatre backstage, hyphenated his name, and settled down to translate and write criticism. Bougy St. Martin is a beautiful chateau near the Swiss border. It’s likely the two women met in France when the Granville-Barkers lived there. Very good condition; some dirt and lipstick stains; the Granville Barker card is stained. Measures 4 1/4” by 2 3/4”.