This is an exquisite and highly collectable, beautiful little antique bridal purse or reticule that has been hand-made probably in the early 20th century, Edwardian period or even earlier. It was quite common for ladies to make their own bags and purses as a pastime and particularly when fabrics were in short supply. This little purse has been made with such care and attention to detail, and as it looks like it has barely been used it is reasonable to assume it has been made for bridal purposes!
When it came to me it was in an age-related grubby state so I have carefully and slowly cleaned it to restore it back to it's original colour which is the palest of cream. I did consider re-stitching the cord edging along the top edge in particular to improve the quality of the needlework but eventually decided against that because to keep it as it is maintains testament to the maker and avoids disturbing the original fabric lining too.
- The front panel decoration includes a range of finest silk ric-rac forming the patterns of scrolls, plaited silk threads to form the edges of flower petals, silk pleats to form petals, a crocheted ring in the centre of the flower, silk covered beads on knotted fine cords falling from silk petals and very fine crocheted flower buds. These designs look like flower fronds. Much work has gone into the decoration of this little purse.
- The back of the purse is plain silk
- Lined in the same silk as the body
- Overall the purse is in excellent condition and may only have been used once, probably for a wedding. There is some very minor discolouration on the top of the crocheted areas of two of the flower fronds at the bottom of the purse but this is only visible on very close inspection. The very fine threads and picot stitches between the scrolling patterns are in good condition but the main outer body of the threads to the centre of the ric-rac have shredded and only some of that remains
- Measures 5.5" from top to bottom and 5" wide. The strap is 29" long in totality but can be shortened by knotting. When empty the purse is no more than 0.5cm thick (but in some of the pictures I have shown it filled for demonstration purposes).
- There is no fastening mechanism.
This beautiful little purse will suit you if you are looking for something collectable to cherisj as well as 'something old' and a purse that will carry small very light items only. It may also suit a child who is old enough to use it carefully on the big day and who would not have need of a bigger handbag.