A Vintage Purse from Josie

Some of my purses have their own story, others came to me as gifts without a story and a few others are family pieces.  I love trading in antiques because I believe each piece carries its own story and I appreciate knowing the history of each one and sharing their stories with others.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed Something Blue…….

This purse was a wedding purse for a woman married in 1911 in Chicago.  Josie married her soul mate and while they lived a long and happy life, they never experienced the joy of a family of their own.  Josie’s extended family passed down her treasures from generation to generation at which time they came to my sister and me to be sold.

Every so often something crosses my path that I find it too traumatic to part with the item. This is one of the few things that I could not sell; so I purchased it for my collection. I am the proud owner of Josie’s beautiful wedding purse(her something blue) and her wedding dress made of milk satin without any buttons, zippers or closures of any sort(but that’s a story for another blog).20170814_160922_resized

This yellow and blue beaded purse is one of my personal favorites.  Completely woven of seed beads in blue and yellow with a tiny starburst pattern worked into the fabric along with a border in reverse colors on the pattern.  Lined in a smooth beige satin, this tiny beaded purse only holds a few coins and a hankie. 20170814_160944_resized It measures about 4 ½ inches wide, is extremely flat and could not even open enough to hold a lipstick.  The charmingly delicate chain is handmade of large and small circles of chain.   The loop type fringe at the bottom adds another inch or so to the length of this purse and is executed in goldish yellow beads.


This definitely was a purse for show not function. The button closure and the accent buttons at the chain mount are clear robin’s egg blue glass cabochons and give this minuscule work of art additional shimmer.20170814_160955_resized

The maker is not known but a small label on the inside reads: Made in France.

Of all the purses in my collection, there is something I find so precious about this one.  I use it occasionally but only for very special occasions like my daughter’s wedding.  It’s totally impractical and yet so captivatingly lovely.  I think Josie would have approved.

Hope you enjoy this second installment in my efforts to share my vintage purse collection with you.  These tiny works of art have been a passion of mine for over 30 years and I look forward to sharing them with you and hopefully you grow to appreciate them, their hand-made qualities and the utter beauty of something so seemingly inconsequential as an evening purse.



  1. I enjoyed your earlier post and this one particularly because of the suggestion of its life lived with another woman. There is something so special about pre-loved things – clothes to purses to books. It is splendid that you have managed to snag a hint of Josie’s story along with this beaded piece of beauty. x

    Liked by 1 person

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