RESEARCH

The Art of the Bead

The Art of the Bead

By Terri Lykins
Many of us have been avid beaded purse collectors for many years, even decades. As a purse collector and restorer, I thought it might be fun to go a bit deeper into the artistic aspects of purse design by describing the different types of beads that were used to construct our bags, and what these finishes and cuts bring to the overall effect of the finished design.

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Men’s Purses

Men’s Purses

By Barbara Catanese
I think that most of us have mainly or exclusively women’s purses in one’s own collection, but I love men’s purses as well, since not only in the past they were very rich and elaborate but especially because following their path we can rebuild men’s fashion better and imagine what kind of men they were, their way of living, character and hobbies.

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Judith Leiber: From Holocaust Survivor to Handbag Icon

Judith Leiber: From Holocaust Survivor to Handbag Icon

By Christine Giordano, Harper’s Bazaar
At 95, Judith Leiber carefully walks down an aisle of her palladian-style Hamptons museum surrounded by 1,500 handbags, most of them bedazzled with thousands of crystals. Her eyes graze two small metal clutches-one shaped like an eggplant and the other, an asparagus. “I just thought it was a good idea to try to make something strange we’d never made before,” Leiber shrugs. “They’re still selling.”

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The Killer Mobile Device for Victorian Women

The Killer Mobile Device for Victorian Women

By Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collector’s Weekly
Adrift in a sea of digital apps for every imaginable function, we often feel our needs are met better today than in any previous era. But consider the chatelaine, a device popularized in the 18th century that attached to the waist of a woman’s dress, bearing tiny useful accessories, from notebooks to knives. In many ways chatelaines provided better access to such objects than we have today: How often have you searched for your keys or cell phone at the bottom of a cavernous bag?

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Theorem purses

Theorem purses

By Paula Higgins, APCS Member
Theorem art is a method of painting using two or more stencils, resulting in a highly stylized and primitive design. While stenciling has been practiced in one form or another since antiquity, the theorem art we are most familiar with dates to the first half of the 19th century, particularly from the 1820’s to the 1830’s.

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Fashion Is in the Bag

Fashion Is in the Bag

From the ancient beaded bags of African priests to the haute couture tote of the modern lady of leisure, handbags have historically been both the carriers of secrets and the signifiers of power, status, and beauty. As the keepers of the equipment of daily life, handbags have been strongly influenced by technological and societal changes, such as the development of money, jewelry, transportation, cosmetics, smoking, cell phones, and the role of women in society.

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100 Years of Canadian Beauty

100 Years of Canadian Beauty

In a hilarious spoof on Mode magazine's "100 years of Beauty," CBS Punchline has its own entry, featuring star Susan Kent modelling hair, make-up and fashion looks from the last 100 years or so. The difference? It's freezing outside... Enjoy a laugh. And if you missed...

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Meerten book purse illustration

Meerten book purse illustration

Check out this illustration from A. B. van Meerten’s “Penelope of Maandwerk aan het Vrouwelijk Geslacht Toegewijd” that looks a lot like Paula Higgins’ spiderweb design needlework purse c. 1820.

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