Oh, the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men. I had planned to do several posts about purses, optimistically subtitling the first post A Multi-Part Love Story. That was June 2011; five years is probably just too big of a gap to call this a series. I’ll try to do better—maybe the next post in this series will be published in two years. ;- )
I want to talk about vintage woven purses this time; the first post was about box purses. This is the time of the year that we think about breaking out our summer purses and woven purses are the stars of the show.
For all of our bitching about sea shells, I seem to have several purses decorated with them:
I think this purse has used shells in a fun way; it isn’t over the top or garish. It’s a pretty big bag and is fun to take on tropical vacations because it’s awesome wherever you find yourself. I end up carrying everyone’s sunglasses and sunblock, so I would rather not be squishing it all into a reasonably-sized bag.
Here’s a close up of the decoration:
I like the green raffia leaves, too. I kind of wish that the shells had a little more color to them, but that’s a picky complaint.
My next shell purse isn’t quite so attractive:
The bag style is pretty much Queen of England—if she carried woven bags. I haven’t carried this anywhere except home from a garage sale. It’s such a crazy bag—what were they thinking as they glued the shells to the plastic oval?
It doesn’t make any sense at all! The shells are okay, but not anything out of the ordinary. I think it must be a purse kit and someone just decided to glue a bunch of random shells on it. I would like it better if it were a pattern, which I’m imagining that a professional purse maker would. I’m probably giving purse makers waaay too much credit.
I did feature this purse a couple of weeks ago, but I love it so much that you’re seeing it again:
Kathy pointed out that she bought me this purse and one for herself, too! I had forgotten where I got it, which happens all the time. I love the randomness of the decorations:
Why are there three colors of velvet ribbon? Did you notice the center green ribbon is also a pea pod? There are pearl peas stuffed in there because of course there isn’t enough going on here. The whole thing is covered with a piece of clear plastic for your protection.
This might be my favorite woven purse and is eminently carryable:
It’s got a lot going on, but it stays on theme. I like the monkeys, but it’s the bananas that put it over the top for me. They are so well done, except for hanging from a palm tree. Maybe some nice person hung them up there to feed the monkeys. This is another big purse, so it’s perfect for garage saling and vacationing. I can stash lots of goodies in there and the handles are pretty sturdy, so I don’t have to worry about weighing it down.
Here’s a close up of the monkeys:
I carried this a lot when the summer intern was younger and he loved the monkeys. I don’t blame him, I love them too. I’m going to carry this more often; the key will be to not stuff it back into the closet I store purses in.
I wonder if this is really a lunch box, but I like it as a purse:
The outside kind of looks like a place mat, but the red top makes it snappy. I’m not sure why the inside is pink and black plaid paper. What a strange pairing—woven outside and plaid inside. It is marked Bersin Products made in Los Angeles Calif:
The bottom looks like pressed paperboard, so I had better keep it away from water. I tried to Google Bersin Products, but nothing pursey came up. That mark makes me think it was made in the 1960s sometime.
This next purse has such a fun shape:
It was handmade in Philippines, so this qualifies as a GOOD souvenir! We see so few, but that’s probably because people keep the good ones. How can you not be cheerful carrying all that fun pink? The flowers are made from raffia, I think:
I think the purse itself is made from woven palm fronds that might be stained darker. The handle makes it pretty easy to carry, but I can’t even get my wallet in it easily. When I carry it, I have to pare down the tonnage that I lug around every day. How often do I need two Leatherman tools and a Swiss army knife? Money, keys, lip gloss, and a hankie pretty much are the essentials.
I found this beauty at Savers, all those many years ago:
It was made in Italy, probably in the 1960s, and the material looks like blue raffia. I’m pretty sure Jackie Kennedy would carry this purse with a blue pillbox hat. The brass makes it pretty snappy. It has little brass feet too. I’m selling this on Etsy if anyone is interested. It needs to go to a good home.
Hopefully, it won’t be two years before the next purse post. I’ll leave you with a thought from Susan B. Anthony:
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