Sunday, January 19, 2014

Listen to Your Gut Feeling-Handbag Edition

Something made me think this was a 1940's handbag when I spotted it at the thrift store for $3.99 Hanging unnoticed among the fake Pradas, and vinyl 70's clutches (bought one of those too, not to worry!)it looked...nicer. Still, something felt wrong about the shine of the clasp.
I opened the bag, noted the zipper, the lining, and the brass hardware at the hinge. The bag was heavy, the frame sturdy...everything was telling me this was a 40's bag except that damn clasp looked like it was from the 70's.
 Yes, it was still quite dusty after lint rolling it. I'm reluctant to take the brush attachment from the hoover to it as the bag is velvet, and you never find old velvet in perfect condition-I'd hate to ruin it.
 The hardware all looks period authentic, save for that bloody clasp.
In the end, after looking at other examples on line, and dating the zip I'd say the bag is authentic, and the owner probably replaced the clasp at some point, or polished it so that the patina no longer matches the rest of the hardware. Given that the bag has no visible damage to the velvet, and that the handle is still in excellent shape, I'd guess it was a special occasion bag that didn't see much use, but the owner kept, and took excellent care of. In that case, it would make perfect sense to replace a clasp if it accidentally snapped on an otherwise lightly used item. I know I would fix it.

It is a small bag, and it probably wouldn't hold most of the things we carry today but that's what your friends that carry large bags are for (to carry your stuff). I'm glad I trusted my gut, and snapped this bag up rather than dismissing it on one piece of a puzzle that seemed out of place.


Jessica Cangiano said...

Marvelous find! I've seen similar clasp shapes on 30s and 40s bags before, but agree that the patina is strikingly gleaming for something from that era, so it may very well have been replaced at a later point in time. No matter though, I think it's a wonderfully classic bag that would go with looks from just about any era from the 30s on up to today. And that price? Goodness, what a great deal on a vintage bag! Even if the whole thing was from the 70s (not rooted in the 40s), it would still be a major thrift store steal around these Canadian parts for that price.

Enjoy your new little handbag treasure, dear gal!

♥ Jessica

Goody said...

Things like this are so frustrating though! I want definitive answers ;)

That said, if I were selling it, which I am not, I'd hesitate to sell it as anything other than a "probably." In the absence of a tag (or taking it apart) there's no way to be certain.