Bakelite was an early plastic used for many things including jewelry from the 1920's on. Bakelite that was deeply carved or reversed carved was and still is particularly desirable for collectors. THis purse, circa 1930's, is somewhat unusual since it has an exceptional feature that being, the reversed carved bakelite clasp. It is rare to find purses adorned with bakelite but one with a reversed carved element is nearly impossible. THe purse is covered with black grosgrain fabric. THere is a rounded effect on both the front and back and a slight ruching at the top resulting in minimal pleats. THe gussets protrude at the side. THe fabric has faded in spots and there is some subtle brown showing through at spots. It has a mottled effect. However, all this is overlooked (at least by me) by the wonderful clasp. The clasp is a push up/down. It is round measuring a large 1 1/4" diameter. THe bakelite is a chunky clear applejuice that is elaborately and deeply reversed carved into a flower. THe flower is stylized and appears to be floating in the bakelite. The clasp appears thick and gives the bag a very Art Deco vibe. The bakelite part of the clasp is 1/4" thick. It rests on top of additional plastic which has a gold tone band around it. There is a frame covered with the grosgrain and there is a double carry strap of the same material with a drop of 5". THe inside is lined with the same fabric and there is an open slip pocket and an attached coin pocket. There is a cloth label stating "Reliable Products Toronto". The inside is very clean with no signs of wear of age. THe purse measures 7 1/2"w x 6 1/2"h x 2"d. The clasp tested positive with the "409" test. The only issues, besides the fabric fading, are age wear on the frame and a small scratch on the top of the clasp when seen in certain light. No big deal! THis is a very rare and unique purse. A great find for a purse collector, a bakelite collector or anyone who appreciates long lost beauty. I just love it, wish I could keep everything!
COndition: Very Good VINTAGE Condition
Vintage Purse with Rare Reversed Carved Bakelite CLasp