Purse thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Purse

ca. 1925 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Art Deco had a great influence on jewellery design, and companies such as Tiffany, Boucheron and Cartier made many small, expensive accessories that were related to the handbag, such as tiny vanity and cigarette cases. Designs of the 1920s typically featured black enamel and diamanté, while others were embellished with real gems such as Cartier's evening bags, some in enamelled gold and diamonds with Pharaonic motifs. This silver mesh evening purse is decorated with a geometric black and white enamelled clasp and pearl drop.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Bag
  • Strap
Materials and techniques
Silver mesh, enamelled mounts, leather and pearl
Brief description
Evening purse made of fine metal mesh with a silver frame, France, ca. 1925
Physical description
Evening purse made of fine metal mesh with a silver frame, and with a pearl-drop detail. With a black and white enamelled clasp with a D-shape handle and black leather-lined wrist strap. Lacy fringe of chain mail.
Dimensions
  • Clasp to bottom of fringe length: 20cm
  • Strap and handle length: 17cm
Gallery label
ADORNMENT Whether crystal-encrusted or trimmed with exotic feathers, evening bags can finish an outfit like a piece of fine jewellery. Often small and sculptural, these accessories can be treasured objects in their own right, selected for their beauty rather than for functionality. They signify exclusivity and are able to complement a fashionable ensemble. Renowned jewellers such as Lacloche Frères, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co. are among those who have made some of the most covetable and treasured vanity cases for evening wear, as well as handbags featuring precious and semi-precious stones and gold. V&A, Room 40, Bags: Inside Out. (12/2020)
Summary
Art Deco had a great influence on jewellery design, and companies such as Tiffany, Boucheron and Cartier made many small, expensive accessories that were related to the handbag, such as tiny vanity and cigarette cases. Designs of the 1920s typically featured black enamel and diamanté, while others were embellished with real gems such as Cartier's evening bags, some in enamelled gold and diamonds with Pharaonic motifs. This silver mesh evening purse is decorated with a geometric black and white enamelled clasp and pearl drop.
Collection
Accession number
CIRC.245-1971

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Record createdMarch 3, 2003
Record URL
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