Monday, August 28, 2017

Swag: 1920s Beaded Bags

Original 1920s beaded purses
This year at Costume College we were treated to a host of new - and epic - vendors selling all sorts of random and wonderful stuff.

One of these vendors offered just piles and piles of estate sale treasure. You really had to dig, and also keep coming back to dig some more, because as the piles decreased, they were added to by a reservoir of random antique bric-a-brac that somehow kept manifesting.

Intricate beading in turquoise and silver.

Silk lining in bright turquoise - it's a wonder this has survived. The weave of the silk accounts for its durability.

I as lucky, and I do mean lucky, to snag not one but two 1920s beaded purses in near-perfect condition. Purses like these aren't hard to find, but are often a) very expensive, b) missing their linings (the bag), or c) losing beads. Imagine my disbelief when these two exquisite bags were not only surviving admirably but were also...wait for it...only $15 each.

What.

Orange and blue beaded 1920s bag - quite loud!

The bright-ass orange silk lining is in tact. The pressed tin frame also survives but is a little worse for wear with some oxidization.
They are such treasures! The blue one is a wonderful mix of various turquoise and silvery hues that reminds me of water. The orange one, well, it's just wackadoodle and so obnoxious. I can imagine some saucy Flapper rocking this bag, a small bullet of dark lipstick and a tiny pressed powder within.

The best places to find bags like these, in my opinion, is at flea markets, or online on Etsy or eBay. With the popularity of the '20s coming back, too, there are some modern makers of beaded bags. You can see all the coolest ones in one place at Vintage Dancer.

Flashy was the flapper who carried these bags!



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