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Antique fine-micro glass beaded floral purse.

Back of Antique fine-micro glass beaded floral purse.

Close-up 1 of Antique fine-micro glass beaded floral purse.

Close-up 2 of Antique fine-micro glass beaded floral purse.

Inside of Antique fine-micro glass beaded floral purse.

Hey, ever been to one of those week-end Antique Markets?  You know the ones that travel around.  I went to the Lakewood's one in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998 and came across a booth that was selling mostly furniture.  They had this little corner where they had seemingly tossed some odds and ends, and as such, priced them beyond belief, cuz they knew they were items worth something, but not sure what, cuz this wasn't their area of expertise.  So, if you've been there, done that, you dicker with the dealer for a better price. I didn't get him down to what I considered to be a reasonable price for this beauty, but I still "just had to have it!"  I have been a beadworker for close to 20 years, and back then I dabbled here and there in purse restoration as I had collected many old beads and could often fix minor bead losses.  I purchased this one with that in mind.  However, over the last 5 years, my eyes have been failing me terribly and I can no longer even contemplate doing restorations myself. 

But still, just the same, Oh, if I had only been alive when this purse came into existence!!  I may be getting on in years now, but shame I wasn't around in the late 1800's!!  I think this purse is still stunning even though it needs some restoration, I can't even imagine what it must've looked like originally!!!  There is a somewhat similar bag as this with the background trellis sort of pattern shown in the book "Beads on Bags, 1800's-2000" by Schiffer.

This is a turn of the century tiny, itty bitty, micro or fine bead, hand-beaded on canvas purse. It features both round glass beads and multi-faceted metallic beads in a stylized floral pattern (roses the center feature) on a type of trellis background.  It has such a multitude of colors, I may not be able to mention them all, and some are lined color and some are opaque, I won't be able to list all the colors with these delineations.  I will try and list all the colors that I can, it's truly amazing how many there are, I may not get them all, but I will give it a shot..........sea foam green, peridot green, light green, dark green, pale and medium pink, dusty rose, light, medium, and dark raspberry, ultra light/pale pink, (might actually be a pale cream, but with them next to the pinks, it's hard to tell), pearl, pale yellow, dark yellow, dark yellow orange (butterscotch), amber, light to medium lavender, light blue (somewhat more like a light periwinkle), marcasite, black and there may be more!!  I've done lots of needle point in my life and lots of beadwork, but I couldn't even begin to estimate the time it took to do this purse, hundreds of hours to be sure!!!

One of the cool things about the beading on this purse that I would like to point out;  the marcasite lines of the trellis make the sea foam portions a little puffed, so it gives the purse the look and feel of almost having 3 dimensions! Kinda nifty!

Overall, the majority of the bead loss is along the frame top and near the hinges.  There is also bead loss on the bottom of one side and on the corners of the purse. This purse was well loved and obviously used until the original user? couldn't use it anymore.  There is some, albeit minimal in my opinion, bead loss in small sections of the main body of the purse on either front or back.  Considering the size of this purse and it's age, not having more bead loss in the body portion is surprising.

I could not find a makers mark on the frame, it appears to be silver, but cannot say for sure what it's metal content is.  It has an acorn kiss closure and it does open and close tightly and securely.  However, the frame has gotten bent at sometime in it's past.  I'm sure it could be made straight again.  I believe the inside lining to be of a silk blend, again, can't be sure.  It is cream colored, hand sewn in, and does have usage staining such as  lipstick marks.  Otherwise, it is intact with no rips, fraying, tears or holes.

Purse measures an approximate whopping 8 inches wide, hair short of 10inches long from top of frame to bottom of purse, chain is 15 inches long for an overall hanging length of about 16 3/4 inches!  In "mint" condition I'm sure this purse would probably fetch between $750-1000.  It's not mint, grin, but I know that I paid more for it than I probably should have. 

Purse being sold "as is", it's very stunning and I believe could be restored easily, but if not, it displays beautifully!!  An absolute "must have" for any purse collection!!

Item # AP18

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