Where do handbags go to die?

My mother gave me this purse the other day; she has had it since she was a child, when she was given it to play with by her mother.


All children play at being grown ups (silly things) Cooking, cleaning and shopping. Just as my Grandmother did with my mother, I was given my mums old purses to play with. Generally purses old enough to no longer serve a fashionable purpose are those which end up in the dress up box, I remember mine being bright and plastic, I guess they must have dated from the 1960s and 1970s.

My mother grew up in the 1950s; this purse looks to me to date from the 1930s.

It is made from soft brown leather and lined with brown moire silk; it has a deco style flip up fastener, which is classic 1930s.



It has a hand strap on the back and inside it has a matching pocket mirror.




It also has a coin purse with a clip clasp, which is lined with white silk.


Although it doesn’t have a label, it is clearly a high quality item.

With the current trends for vintage and throwaway fashions I think the age old process of old clothing and accessories being handed down to children may have changed, plus they now sell children’s purses for just this purpose!

The only instructions I was given on being gifted this treasure was “not to sell it on eBay” which I don’t plan to do, however don’t judge me too harshly, I have a very small house and am given rather a lot of unwanted treasures!

I don’t want to become the Junk lady from the Labyrinth!

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 11.10.35

This purse I hope will live once more when I next get invited to a 1920s or 30s themed event, its rather too lovely not to share!

About lholmes4keats

I have worked with Museums across the UK for the last ten years making costumes for exhibitions on everything from The Titanic to Tyrannosaurs. I have Run workshops and lectures on costume both nationally and internationally, my work has featured in exhibitions, films and theatre productions both nationally and internationally. In 2011 I curated The Needle is always at hand, an exhibition of dress based on Fanny Brawne's life while she lived at Keats House.
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