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Design - Design for Waldybag

Design for Waldybag

  • Object:

    Design

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1940-1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Campbell, Florence (Mrs) (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    This technique was developed by Florence Campbell, and derived from German penwork, a traditional craft of painting patterns onto fabric. Bags decorated in this way were popularly known as 'Waldybags' as they were sold by the firm of H. Wald and Co. Mrs Campbell painted designs such as this on transparent plastic so that potential clients could envisage how the finished products would look. Designs on plastic would be held against satin bags of different colours and sizes so clients could select their desired pattern and type of bag. Mrs Campbell would then transfer the design from the plastic sheet onto the bag by tracing it on greaseproof paper, and pricking it to create the outline of the design. She would then paint the design directly onto the bag.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs M. Wood

  • Museum number:

    E.17-2014

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case FD, shelf 3

'Waldybags' was the name given to a particular type of luxury handbag sold by the firm H. Wald & Co. after the Second World War. They were characterised by and unusual decorative technique by which minuscule glass beads were applied to painted decoration, creating a glistening, textured effect. These handbags were popular with the British royal family. Although the firm is synonymous with this style of decoration, the decorative technique was in fact developed and executed by Florence Campbell, a Jewish-German immigrant who married a Scottish engineer and moved to England in the 1940s. She expanded her skills in German pen work, a popular past time for young women in Germany, to encompass a range of decorative objects including household items and shoes, as well as bags. The work was initially carried out solely by Mrs Campbell. Later she taught the technique to her niece, Joan Ashley-Biggs, and then the latter's daughter, Margaret Wood, who continued to design and paint Waldybags until the late 1970s.

Physical description

A brightly coloured design for a handbag painted on transparent plastic. The design consists of dense floral decoration, including large stylised pink roses at the centre of blue, purple and yellow flowers and framed by a border of small pink roses and foliage. The design forms the shape of one side of a small handbag. It is painted in paint mixed with an adhesive agent called Instanta, to which miniscule clear glass beads have been applied to create a glistening textured effect.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1940-1955 (made)

Artist/maker

Campbell, Florence (Mrs) (maker)

Materials and Techniques

This technique was developed by Florence Campbell, and derived from German penwork, a traditional craft of painting patterns onto fabric. Bags decorated in this way were popularly known as 'Waldybags' as they were sold by the firm of H. Wald and Co. Mrs Campbell painted designs such as this on transparent plastic so that potential clients could envisage how the finished products would look. Designs on plastic would be held against satin bags of different colours and sizes so clients could select their desired pattern and type of bag. Mrs Campbell would then transfer the design from the plastic sheet onto the bag by tracing it on greaseproof paper, and pricking it to create the outline of the design. She would then paint the design directly onto the bag.

Dimensions

Width: 26 cm, Length: 18 cm

Descriptive line

Design on plastic for a Waldybag by Florence Campbell (c.1886- c.1970)

Materials

Plastic; Paint; Glass beads

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Handbags

Categories

Designs; Fashion; Accessories

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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