Here's a beautifully made gilded sterling mesh purse or hand bag with a chatelaine hook top, made by Black, Starr & Frost in the late 19th century. This gorgeous bag is 5 1/8" across at the widest part of the purse, and with the chain and hook, the whole piece measures 10 1/2" lengthwise. The piece is nice and heavy and weighs in at 173.9 grams. Inside it is marked "Black, Starr & Frost Sterling 130". Black, Starr & Frost were known for making high end high quality jewelry and silver items. The bag comes from the era of the chatelaine around the 1890's where women hung lots of useful items from their waist on chatelaines, such as sewing and vanity items, etc. This bag was meant to hang from the waist either by one's belt or waist band.
The bag has lots of wonderful engraving and pierced silver work. At the top of the purse section are lovely engraved animals and designs. The animals have a mythological look with leopard heads and wings. There's a third similar creature at the top on the hook.
The condition of the piece is very good with only the slightest issues. There's a very small opening in the mesh near the front right hinge, and the purse closure leaves a tiny gap after it's closed which could easy be fixed by a jeweler who could tighten the knobs that lock it shut just a tiny bit. Neither problem is very noticeable.
This is a really great antique purse for a collector, or for a stylish woman to wear and enjoy it.
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