In 1939 what is considered the medieval equivalent of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered under a burial mound in Suffolk, England. Underneath one of the mounds was an 88 foot (27 meter) long Anglo Saxon ship from the 7th century (between 610 and 635 AD). At the center of the ship was a burial chamber packed with an amazing treasure.
This story is about an ordinary person – Camilla Gottlieb – and the extraordinary life she lived. On May 27, 1964 Camilla Gottlieb died. We might never have learned the full details of Camilla’s extraordinary story except for one thing – her purse.
Few of us enjoy a close relationship with history. For most of us, we are a few degrees of separation closer to Kevin Bacon than the country’s founding fathers. But for two APCS members an auction would lead to one of those great chance encounters with history.
As costume and textile historians are found of remarking, fashion does not exist in a vacuum. Clothing and accessories are influenced by all manner of technology, social and economic forces. And so it is with these series of purses. Featured in the links below are four abolitionist purses – two in collections in the United States and two in collections in London.
This purse tale illustrates how having a knowledge of jewelry can help you find and identify purses. Plus, who doesn’t love looking at beautiful jewelry, right?
Our story begins on Ebay.
I’ll let you in on a secret – I’m a sucker for animal purses. Whether it's wicker dogs, beaded cats or celluloid animals, I love them all. So when I...