Love Train Vintage: Research can be addicting!
inAugust 5, 2010 - 5:11pm
Sometimes if I'm lucky the person I purchase the item from knows its provenance. Other times it's an item that they picked up at a yard sale or perhaps it's an item that they found while cleaning out a loved one's attic.
Recently I found myself intrigued with an early 1900s velvet purse with a brass frame. The purse had the name M.B. Moehring, White Plains, NY stamped in gold lettering. The purse is in remarkable excellent vintage condition. So the first thing I did was start my search with the name M.B. Moehring. and then I added the White Plains, NY information. Having been born and raised until the age of 10 in Cold Spring, NY, White Plains is not that far away so having a little knowledge of the area didn't hurt. Unfortunately not much came up in my original searching. I did stumble across the name of a professor with the same last name that was printed in the purse so I decided to take a chance and email him to see if he might be related to the owner of the store I was searching for.
The professor was very kind to respond. While he was not related to what I thought was the store owner where the purse was sold, he did have some constructive suggestions on how to further my search for knowledge. So on I went searching the vastness of the internet. I did turn to Ancestry.com to try to find out a bit more information. I did turn up another Moehring in the White Plains area. This turned out to be who I thought might be the store owner where the purse was sold.
Well I was wrong again but by searching this gentleman's name I got on the right track. It turns out that the gentleman's name that I searched was the owner of an import business. The name M.B. Moehring was in fact not the name of a store in White Plains, but the daughter of the gentleman who owned the import business!
I was further able to substantiate their tie when armed with this information I located on the internet information about M.B Moehring, now found to be Maria B. Moehring, and details about her handling of her mother's estate. In that information her father's name was confirmed, thus providing me with the information I was looking for, the name of the original owner of the purse.
While I am no closer to finding out where the purse was purchased from or what occasion it was used for (I presume it was a special occasion as the purse is in such stellar condition), finding this information really helped me in being able to narrow down how old the purse is.
At some point, perhaps when my girls are back in school, I might just try to find out more about the Moehring family by visiting White Plains. I'm very much intrigued about this family from the 1800s and their life.
Marge Leyden, Love Train Vintage,