Friday, July 23, 2010

Antique Edwardian Flapper Beaded Drawstring Reticule Purses I Found At An Estate Sale!

I found these two lovely antique beaded drawstring purses at a local estate sale. I was told by the seller, that the gray one with the tassel was from around 1917 - 1920s. The other one with the 'Arts and Crafts' type pattern is supposed to be from around the 1900s to the 'teens'.
The patterned one has a cloth lining, with little pockets, probably for lipstick and comb. There are some beads missing on that one.
In what I call the 'Arts and Crafts' style purse, there is also a long piece of the inside lining that has a circular piece at the bottom, which I'm guessing used to hold a little round mirror!
The inside of the gray purse with the tassel is a black crochet. I have paper inside so you can see the pattern. There are (what look to be) celluloid rings for the drawstring to go through.

(Alexander Parkes invented the first plastic, a synthetic replacement for ivory, that he called Parkesine in 1855. It was unveiled at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London, and later renamed Celluloid.)
(Leo Hendrik Baekeland invented the first viable method for making plastic based on a synthetic polymer, in 1909. He publicly announced his discovery in 1912, after perfecting his work, naming it bakelite. It was originally used for electrical and mechanical parts, finally coming into widespread use in consumer goods in the 1920s. Bakelite was the first true plastic, a purely synthetic material, and the first thermosetting plastic.)
(When the Bakelite patent expired in 1930, the Catalin Corporation acquired the patent and began manufacturing Catalin plastic using a different process that allowed a wider range of coloring.)(Per Wikipedia.)

The Victorian period was from June 1837 (Queen Victoria's coronation) to January 22, 1901 (Queen Victoria's death), and the Edwardian period from 1901 to 1910 (King Edward's reign).
British historians take the Edwardian Period as ending with WW1, and the period after, 1919-1939, is known as the Interwar Years or Interwar Period. (Per Yahoo Answers.)
The gray reticule could possibly be from the flapper era, if the rings pass the bakelite tests, or from the Edwardian period, if the rings are celluloid.

Answer from a antique purse collector:
The first drawstring reticule is Edwardian, in my opinion, 1910 to 1915 at latest. Brass loops used for the drawstring were commonly used during that time.
The second beaded bag is wonderful! again, the drawstring opening is indicative of the Edwardian period. I think the assessment from 1900 to about 1918 would be close.
Both purses look to be in good shape with minimal bead loss. If this is the case I would estimate the larger beaded bag to be around $200. The smaller would be approx. $150-175 depending on the market.