Vintage early 1940s small chocolate brown panné velvet evening bag features a snap-over clasp topped by a carved brown Bakelite button. The tear-drop shaped bag has a gilt brass frame and hardware, and a self-fabric handle.
Interior is lined in brown rayon satin with two open sidewall pockets shirred at the top; one has a tiny envelope coin purse tucked into it. I believe the purse body is of rayon velvet or a silk-rayon blend velvet.
To help illuminate the sort of event and outfit a bag like this might have figured in, here’s a question directed, in January 1943, to the Fashion Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I am going to a formal dance, but due to transportation problems am wearing a blue velvet street frock, brown fur coat, fur trimmed hat, and white gloves. Would it be appropriate to wear a rhinestone clip in my hair, or a blue velvet bow? I have one large bag and a small brown velvet evening bag. Which should I take, since I am going by subway? I am wearing brown suede shoes".
The Fashion Editor’s response? “Wear the velvet bow in your hair, and carry the small brown velvet bag.” (She also suggested that the letter writer not feel shy about simply wearing a street length gown on the bus or train, as was quite customary at that point).
Measuring 5” tall by 7” wide, the purse has a 9.5” handle; coin purse is 2 1/3” x 3”. Very good condition, with minor wear to the plating of the clasp under the button and slight but visible storage creases in the velvet, which follow the outline of the coin purse (photos #3 and #5).
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