This 14kt. gold bag is amazing and in outstanding condition. A portion of it's interior components is very unusual. It has a lovely mirror attached which is not common to find. But in all of Rich's years of buying these gold bags he has never found one with a built in coin purse as we found in this bag! The coin purse is usually a separate tiny bag which hangs where the mirror is in this one. The frame of the bag has patterns of scrolling leaves on the front and back with stem like leaf pattern on it's side rim. The cap to the tassel as well as the slide on the handle strap have corresponding pattern work. The tassel consists of gold chain with cultured pearl ends while the slide is decorated with a stylized fleur de lis comprised of 6 small round diamonds and 4 small square cut sapphires. There is also a cabochon synthetic sapphire in the frame's closure. We believe the square sapphires to be synthetics also as they were the common accent stones in items during this time period.
The diamonds, synthetic sapphires and cultured pearls are all there, appear to be the originals and are in excellent condition. The patterns on the frame, tassel cap, slide and mirror have excellent definition showing no wear to their designs. The closures on the bag and coin purse close with a good click and stay closed. The hinges on the bag and coin purse are all original without repair. The mirror is attached to a built in chain on the bag with a spring ring that is in working order. There is an area on the backside of the mirror for presentation that has never been engraved. The mirror is without cracks or chips but does have some discoloration of graying and top and bottom age spotting. The edge frame of the coin purse has been engraved and reads: "MANUELA ROWLAND. LOS ANGELES, CALIF.". We were told this purse had been owned by a member of the family for which the city of Rowland Heights, was named. Thru a little computer research Rowland Heights was named for John A Rowland who had a son, William R. Rowland, who married Manuela Williams daughter of Issac Williams who owned Rancho Santa Ana del Chino which later became Chino and Chino Hills. William and Manuela did live in Los Angeles CA during the 1920's.
The gold is in excellent condition with no cracks, rips, snags, dents, deep scratches, abrasions or repairs. The mesh handle strap is all intact with no raveling on it's edges. The bag's underarms (the area under the hinges) have the mesh properly attached with no rips or missing mesh. There is of course a small open space in the mesh of an appropriate size and shape as is found on these bags (see inserts photo # 7). This was done so no mesh was caught or tangled in the hinge movement. During our inspection of the bag we found in identical positions 2 small spots/holes in the mesh that are on the opposite side of the bag from the coin purse and correspond to it's hinges (inserts photo # 9). One side has two unconnected rings while the other side has one unconnected ring (a mesh ring is approximately 1/32"). We do not know if a few rings have worn away due to the coin purse hinge rubbing against the mesh or if this was original to manufacture like they did on the underarm hinges. But either way the spots are very minor and small, approximately 1/16" long, and are not seen due to their position next to the frame and the drape of the mesh. We found them because we were hunting for open areas holding the bag at odd angles inspecting the mesh.
On the interior of the frame you will find a makers mark for Durand and a gold content mark of 14 kt. The bag is very substantial with a solid frame and weighs 152.5 grams of gold. From the top of the ring on the frame for the strap to the base point of the mesh where the tassel is connected is 7 1/4". The widest point of the bag is thru the bottom of the mesh and is 3 3/4". From the end of the strap to the base of the tassel is 15 5/8". This 14kt. mesh bag is in such wonderful condition it could be used for those important family occasions like a wedding or anniversary. If you are a collector every bag/purse collection should include at least one gold bag and this bag should be that special one!
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