Rare beaded bag by Calvaire features a petite floral design on a black moire' background. This is a clutch style purse with fold over top and snap closure; it measures 7 inches wide by 9 3/4 inches tall when open; there is also an inside pocket. The inside is in pristine condition. The bag is signed Calvaire Made in France (I was unable to get a photograph of the signature) but it is there. This is an extraordinary find that is in great condition. I don't believe there are any beads missing; rather I think it is the way the beads were attached to the bag (strung) so they move around on the surface. Calvaire jewelry is rare in the collectibles market, but this is even more rare. I have only ever seen examples in Ann Pitman's book (Inside the Jewelry Box, Vol. 3).
The company was founded in the early 1920's by two women, Ray Calish and Stella Aronson, as importers of costume jewelry. Before the second world war, the owners traveled to Europe to purchase jewelry from different manufacturers, and had their company name imprinted on it. Most of what they purchased was made in France. During WWII, the company they purchased jewelry in the United States. They were in business until about 1957.
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