Art Deco Handbag – Framed with Bakelite Clasp and Chain

Art Deco Handbag with Bakelite Handle 2016

There you are Art Deco handbag! I’ve looked for you high and low. What’s this, you are framed? Not possible! Surely you can get out of there. I need to wear you.

Yes, I know you’re over 100 years old. I see how proud you are of yourself with your colorful glass seed and jet black rod beads so intricately embroidered on silk. I’m sure you’re proud of your Art Deco heritage with your floral motif. And yes, I see the “looped fringe” on your bottom. I bet you are truly proud of your Bakelite frame and chain. How unusual. I see reeds carved into your frame and clasp has two flowers. They compliment your design. Yes. Yes. Yes, I see so stop expecting me to compliment you.

To bring you down to earth I suggest that you’re not an Art Deco handbag, but one from the Art Nouveau period. Consider your floral design. The design is long, sinuous and organic, an Art Nouveau, ornamental style that flourished between about 1890 and 1910. Look at your frame and clasp each etched with a floral design . Because of all of this, your frame and clasp are most likely made of celluloid, not Bakelite. The fact is celluloid pre-dates Bakelite. Some researchers write that the pre-cursor of celluloid was invented in 1856 and Bakelite 1907.

No matter, I still want to wear you! I’ll ask again, why can’t you get out of the frame? Don’t tell me. You’re under conservation glass and sewn to a raw silk, mounted to a recessed museum rag mat board. I bet there is rag-covered foam board behind your silk mat for support, and I can see your frame’s back is finished with white moisture-
resistant Tylex dust cover and special coated stainless steel wire. Surely all of this can be removed from the gold iridescent shadow box. Oh, I just noticed, the inner sides are covered with the same raw silk. How impressive!

I guess I’ll have to accept the fact that you are not coming out. I’ll look past your Art Deco belief and say, I don’t blame you. Your presentation is, indeed, sophisticated and the craftsmanship is excellent. You could hang anywhere in a home, condo or possibly an office. Don’t worry about the decor, I mean the colors or the furniture. You will fit in beautifully.

As for myself, I’ll keep looking. I know Duplantier has a vast collection of handbags from the late 19th to the early 20th century. You’ve got me talking about Deco, so I am thinking about a 1920s Art Deco handbag, you know, what the “flappers.” wear I’ll check Duplantier Fine Framing’s website. I know I can purchase one from the STORE. I’ll also keep an eye out for future posts. They should be interesting.

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