There seems to be one item in every woman’s wardrobe she can’t live without? It is the purse.
Collecting purses can be a hobby many people don’t even realize they have. That is until they look into their closets. But, for many others, vintage purses are a dream.
One of the most popular is the beaded purse. Since the early 19th century women have been purchasing colorful and intricately designed bags. Early in the century, designs were built around flowers or medieval scenes.
Two types of beads are dominant. Venetian beads are very small and tend to fade. The second popular bead are sequins and these can be much larger and will also fade in time. That is why the older brightly colored bags are worth the most. It meant they weren’t used often and were kept out of sunlight.
Most of the more collectible bags were made in Belgium or France and have fine handiwork along with metal, glass or semi-precious tone clasps or handles.
The design is where the value of a beaded purse is. Is the purse intricate or detailed? Or is it plain and simple. Are the colors vibrant? A lot goes into finding the value of beaded purses.
Most bags range in values of $20 to $60. There are rare ones that can feature items like Bakelite that can be worth $400-$500. It really depends on the bag itself. There are some from the 1970s that are so exquisite they go for nearly $1,000.
Have you ever seen the telephone purse? It is made of faux leather and looks like real phone. The handle looks like a speaker and the chord attaches to beads where there are numbers and buttons. It is really a fun piece from the 1960s and can sell for close to $1,000. Items that are very unique always sell for more. The economy is starting to come back so it is a good time to get into collecting beaded purses again. While at it, keep an eye out for Lucite purses, gold mesh purses and poodle purses. All can bring in a good dollar and are really fun to collect.
I’m willing to bet almost every woman out there has a bag worth some money. Big names like Coach, Prada and Vera Bradley are worth money now and in time may be worth big bucks.
I recommend keeping them in good condition. If you no longer plan to use your bag, store in a box in a safe place away from moths. In 20 years that bag may bring you some much needed funds.
If you are in search of bags, first buy a good book. “Handbags: A Collector’s Guide by Tracy Tolkien” is a good one as is “Warman’s Handbags Field Guide”.
Then just search. Thrift stores, tag sales and flea markets are the best places to start. They seem to get a little pricey on eBay. Unless there is something you must have, I would stay away from buying a bag online. Antique store are also a bit on the high side. You will be surprised what you can find cheap at a tag sale. I seem to see some every week I would buy if I was a collector.
Go out there enjoy your day and pick up something you enjoy and maybe you will even use it.