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1920s Deco Pattern Steel & Glass Beaded Fringed Miniature Purse - image 1 of 9

Petite 1920s silver-grey steel beaded fringed envelope purse features two Deco geometric bands in glass beads, one across the front bottom, and one across the flap.

The tile patterned bands add a dynamic hit of color, in red, blue, and cream glass beads, to the silver grey steel body of the purse. The fringe beads are a darker gunmetal-grey steel, and the dainty strap is beaded in both the light and the dark grey color steel beads.

Back of the purse is done in solid silver-grey steel beads, and it is lined in cream satin.

The envelope purse shape, beaded in either glass or steel, and in both floral and geometric designs, came into vogue the early 1920s. Photo #8 shows two mid-1920s ads for fringed steel beaded envelope purses.

Purse measures 4 5/8” across by 3 ¾” high, excluding the 1” fringe. Strap is 9” long and 3/8” wide.

I am uncertain of whether the small size of the purse indicates that it was made for a child, or if it was simply a stylish dance purse mean to shimmer in motion while holding little more than a hanky and coin or two. A 1927 ad in Baltimore’s Hochschild, Kohn, & Co department store advertises “French steel beaded envelope purses” in “small sizes; many colors and designs” for $1, which is considerably less than the typical $6 to $40 dollar range for “full sized” purses, but also more than the 10c for children’s beaded purses, in the same ad.

This eye-catching little purse is in good, clean condition, with the bead colors bright and the striking design crisp. Three beaded strands of fringe are missing at the front bottom right corner (photos #3 and #5) and there is one misaligned spot at the top right edge of the purse, under the flap (photo #7), which may be original to manufacture. Likewise, the two wider spacings in the flap fringe (photo #2) may be due to missing strands, or they may be original to manufacture; I’m unable to say for certain.

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Cur.io Vintage

1920s Deco Pattern Steel & Glass Beaded Fringed Miniature Purse


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