In dark brown leather with ornate white metal (likely nickel) mounts, this early 1900s combination wallet and card case may have been made for either a man or a woman. It has four “compartments”: One under the flap, and two on either side of its framed, leather-lined snap closure section.
Referred to alternately as “pocket books” or “wallets” in Edwardian period jewelry catalogs, items like this ranged in size from 2.5” x 4.5” to 3” x 5.5” and had from 4 to 7 compartments—including stamp and ticket pockets. They typically featured repoussé metal mounts on the front flap, usually of sterling but also in gold, “silver gilt”, and “gun metal”. The more expensive examples were made of exotic leathers such as alligator, lizard, walrus and even panther. There was little difference between those specified for one gender or the other.
Photo #8 shows examples of similar items in the 1903 New York Jeweler catalog; I have placed the wallet above an illustration of a “gent’s wallet” (bottom right corner of the page), which says it is drawn at 1/3 of actual size.
Measuring 4.75” across by 2.75” high and with a center width of 5/8”, this Edwardian wallet is in good condition, best for costume, display, or study. The leather is fairly stiff, with two ¼” cracks beginning at the bottom right corner (photo #7); there is finish wear to the frame and snap closure of the center compartment), and the back has a museum inventory sticker (this was deaccessioned by the Met).
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
1900s Edwardian Leather Wallet & Card Case Wallet w/Corner Mounts