What a rare find! In all my years of doing this, I have only seen 3 of these bags: the one in my personal collection, the one stored away in the basement of the Metropolitan museum ( I was on a tour with the Antique Purse Collectors Society) and this one. The museum curator didn’t know much about it but I feel that it is French made and was probably created in the late 1940’s. Many beautiful beaded bags were created in Paris at this time and as there isn’t any identification on these bags, this is my suspicion. The museum curator said that this bags came from a house with had many Schiaparelli purses, but I do not think this was created by her. The bag is incredible and very unusual. Whoever designed and created it had quite an imagination and was a very skilled craftsman. It is shaped like a bunch of grapes. Actually there is a black silk purse underneath an overlay of beaded grapes on the front and an overlay of an exquisite beaded design on the back. These overlays have jagged edges creating the appearance of leaves on the vine. The front has an additional overlay and that one has small grapes made out of clusters of the black beads. These “grapes” are dimensional and have depth. The black beads in the grapes are beaded in concentric circles. The design is very layered. Even though the grapes are black against a black background, they “pop.” Absolutely amazing! The beaded design on the back appears to be of stylized leaves. The silk purse body has a shiny gold metal frame. It opens with a kiss lock. The purse is carried by two beaded carry straps that are decoratively designed. The drop is 3”. The inside is lined with a shiny black fabric. The inside is essentially clean. The bag measures 8”h x 6”w x 1/2”d.
The bag is in great condition. There is some metal wear on the clasp and on the frame. The bag is very functional and can be worn but I suggest limiting its usage since it is rare and maintaining its condition should be important. I just love this bag. It is the apex of beaded bags from the mid century. Nothing more to be said! Condition: Excellent VINTAGE Condition
Vintage Beaded Purse “Grape“ Shaped