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Vintage strapped, fringed, art deco aluminum beaded purse.
Back of Vintage strapped, fringed, art deco aluminum beaded purse.

Inside of Vintage strapped, fringed, art deco aluminum beaded purse.

Though this is a wonderful example of a micro-aluminum beaded purse, I'd have to say it has definitely seen better days, thus it was well loved during it's time!! 

Often times, you'll see purses like this for sale at estates, auctions, and even here on e-bay that have the appearance of the well known "French" cut 'steel', but many of these purses were actually made of 'aluminum' NOT 'steel'.  That is why you'll often see the question asked, "Do the beads attract a magnet?" 

After WWI the USA and French markets realized that the 'steel' beads were very heavy and resulted in a short life span for the steel beaded purses (heaviness resulted in splitting etc), thus a lighter weight 'aluminum' bead was created.  You can tell the difference between a FRENCH made and an AMERICAN made aluminum bead by the bead size for the most part.  American made beads are larger and kinda chunky where as French beads run in the very small sizes and are very smooth and uniform.  Colorations for steel and aluminum beads differed as well, thus you'll have "rusting" on 'steel' vs "oxidation" issues on 'aluminum'.  For you "in the know" bead people, beads measure 36-40 beads per inch.

So, getting down to business, this  is a vintage French aluminum beaded bag.  It's definitely in need of some professional cleaning.  I'm sure in it's glory days it was truly a masterpiece.  It has a wonderful geometric design in 3 basic colors of cold, silver, and bronze.  It has a stair stepped envelope flap style closure and a beaded strap.  The strap is in serious need of repair but the purse itself does not appear to have any missing beads, rips, holes, or separations, at least, none that I could see.  Like I mentioned before, it does have some serious oxidation issues, which I've heard can be cleaned vs that "can't do a thing about rusting" issues you find with 'steel' beads, but I'm NOT a restorer, just a collector.  The fringe is mostly intact with only a couple of missing and/or loose fringes.  Purse measures  approximately 5 1/4 inches wide, 5 inches from top of purse to bottom of fringe, and handle measures about 14 inches for a total possible restored hanging length of perhaps of just over 11 inches.   


Item # AP07

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