Mid- to late 1920s glass-beaded purse features a colorful Deco pattern of stylized flower petals and geometric shapes, in butter and golden yellow, steel and pale blue, red, mauve, and pink on a black ground.
The shape of the purse—round arched frame with a slightly flaring body that scallops a little at the hem—is artfully emphasized by the placement of the design elements.
The flower petals radiate downward from the top center and upward from the bottom corners, echoing the iconic sunburst motifs of the period, and a scrolling trefoil design together with all-over outlining in the steel blue beads forms a border at the bottom of the purse, with petals and the pink and red triangles and square inside it.
A red and black looped fringe creates movement at the bottom of the purse, and the dainty cloth handle is beaded on one side, in golden yellow outlined by pale blue. The purse has a brass frame and twist-knob closure, and is lined in unbleached cotton or muslin.
Measuring 6.75” from top to bottom center with the fringe adding another 1.75” and the handle 14”, the purse is in good to very good condition with the following issues: The lining is intact but ever-so-slightly yellowed; the brass findings have some darkening; three black beads are missing near the top of the frame; and a few inches from that spot, three beads are loose and should be secured against loss (photo #7). In addition, one of the red loops to the fringe is missing.
The numerous spots where breaks in the design are “filled in” with darker color (blue or black) beads appear to be either original errors in the design or period replacements to missing beads, which do not structurally compromise the beadwork (or, in my opinion, the appearance!) All in all, a striking piece, sturdy enough for careful use.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Item ID: sk67
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