This lovely early 20th century sterling silver minaudiere features ornate engraved decoration on both the exterior and interior. The pattern includes multiple flowers and foliate scrolls along with an oval cartouche at the front bearing an elegant monogram which has been hand engraved in traditional script. The piece was designed to be carried/worn on the wrist and is fitted with a chain handle made up of large elongated oval links.
The purse has a push button mechanism at the side which when pushed opens the piece to reveal two sides. One side has an empty rectangular frame which can be used to house a photograph or could be fitted with a mirror. There is a tab handle at the side which lifts to open an interior compartment containing a decorative hinged clip made to hold calling cards cards or could also function as a billfold. The compartment comes complete with its original sterling mechanical writing implement (currently empty) which is stored inside a long cylindrical loop.
The other side of the piece has two tab handled hinged sections which cover two separate compartments. The smaller compartment is rectangular in shape and contains two spring loaded coin dispensers, one of which is sized for quarters while the other is sized for dimes. The larger square compartment consists of an empty shallow area which could hold a variety of small items. The interior lid is engraved with the name of a prior owner.
The purse is in good condition and displays beautifully. As noted, the original contents of the frame are no longer present, revealing the decorative engraved section beneath. All hinged parts open and close securely, and the spring loaded coin dispensers are also fully functional. The piece retains its soft, warm, original finish and has not been buffed or machine polished. The purse shows slight signs of age consisting of a minor dent to the writing implement and minor waviness to the rectangular frame, both of which are mentioned for accuracy.
The inside of the purse bears a hallmark reading "STERLING" and the exterior of the writing implement is also marked "STERLING". The piece measures 4" by 3" and is approximately 0.75" thick at its deepest point. The chain is 12" long in total with a 6.25" drop. The purse and chain handle weigh in at just over 178 grams.
This elegant sterling minaudiere displays beautifully and would be a terrific addition to a collection of antique purses. A wonderful gift for someone special or a fantastic choice for a bride to carry on her wedding day.
Antique Sterling Silver Minaudiere with Gilt Washed Interior and Sterling Silver Pen/Pencil