This is an amazing early Victorian solid silver handbag frame. It weighs a substantial 10 ounces or 286 grams, thereby shattering any image of the dainty Victorian lady. Whoever carried this hefty beauty was a Superwoman in a hoop skirt. (Perhaps this could also be used to swat away those wayward Victorian men looking to steal a kiss.)
The work on this is very ornate with raised figures lounging around the top and a handsome neo-classic face in the center and yet another profile of a man above him. The purse has ANOTHER smaller purse frame in its center. This was so big as to be a dual compartment purse. The inner frame is equally ornate with curvy scrollwork.
The frame hangs from a massive silver belt clip showing a seated figure pointing to something in his other hand. It looks like a tablet...the Ten Commandments? We can't be sure but the entire frame looks like it's telling a story.
The frame measures 6 inches across from hinge to hinge. Opened up, it's 6 5/8 to the post on top. The clip measures 3 inches to main ring. The backs are smooth and solid with no design. There are holes along the lower edges to affix the purse fabric to.
There are several hallmarks on the inside. They appear to be European though we can't pinpoint the country. We acid-tested this in several places and it comes up very strong for sterling silver. Both inside and outside clasps are strong and secure. We haven't polished the frame as some prefer the original aged patina.
We can only imagine what a magnificent handbag this can be with the right fabric and a creative touch. We can also see this as an artistic wall piece, a handmade wonder from another era.
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