Vintage Beaded, Velvet and Tapestry Handbags Are All the Rage and They Are Gaining in Value as Collectible Items
I began collecting vintage handbags several years ago when I discovered the value (and fun) of collecting retro accessories. While I still can appreciate the new designer handbags, I also like being different and creative.
A vintage handbag can make a bold statement about a woman's ensemble and about her style, sense of creativity, and eco-consciousness. They still can be room (for an evening bag) able to hold your credit card, keys, lipstick and even an e-cigarette.
If you give a vintage, antique or retro handbag as a gift, it can delight the recipient and even inspire a new hobby that’s fun and profitable.
According to collectibles experts like Paul Fraser, the vintage collectibles market will double in the next twenty years and today’s treasures will continue to grow in value.
As Seen on TV
Popular TV mini-series such as “Downton Abbey”, “Boardwalk Empire” and so many others are reviving the glamour and style of the late 19th and early 20th century, in fact, many cool retro items are showing up on the runways and at celebrity attended functions.
Going Green Never Goes Out of Fashion
Antique, Retro and Vintage handbags are not only eco-friendly because they are re-cycled, many of them are in stunning, near-mint and unused condition.
There are many styles of authentic vintage, retro and antique handbags on the market right now in boutiques, at on-line specialty stores and on eBay. The prices will vary according to the item’s condition, age and manufacturer but the true collector’s items start at about $120.
What Styles of Collectible Vintage Handbags Are Hot?
1 – Metal Mesh Bag
Thin, subtle and colorful, metal mesh bags were all the rage during the 1920's flapper era and they are making a comeback. Today, the originals are hard to find, but we found this one from classic handbag maker Whiting & Davis.
2- Vintage Sequins Beaded Evening Bags
This luxurious satin and beaded evening handbag measures 9.06″(L) * 2.75″(W) * 5.91”(H) and comes with removable chain strap 47.24″.
Beautiful beads and sequins adorn this vintage style handbag. It’s available in six colors.
This 1920’s Clutch is covered with Rhinestones and measures 7.87 * 6.89 inches (L x H). It comes in six colors.
3- Antique Styled Velvet Handbag
Antique velvet evening-bags from the 20’s and 30‘s make a perfect give for a pre-teen or young lady. They come in bright or muted colors and are often embellished with decorative beading and jeweled or filigree clasps. The true antiques are very costly and hard to find, but today's antiqued styled bags are classical beauties.
This antique styled decorative velvet handbag can be used as a clutch, handbag, shoulder bag or cross-body bag.
4- Tapestry Designs
Hand-woven petit point and tapestry designed handbags became an integral fashion accessory by the 1800s. Those hand-made in France are the most desirable (and the most costly), but if you are a very savvy shopper, you can find bargains from those made in the 30's and 40's. I was lucky to inherit this beauty from great grandmother.
5- Rhinestone, Silk, and More
A beautiful purse, with rose framed Victorian décor metal handle / chain strap holds everything you need.
Tiny Reticule purses with expandable accordian-style metal openings were popular in the 18th and 19th century for carrying coins, smelling salts and small handkerchiefs. Today they're hard to find!
The proverbial silk purse is a classic accessory. Some, like the handbag featured in my photo above, are decorated with pastoral scenes. This one, which I also inherited, came with a matching silk eyeglass case (which is rare); however, many vintage bags include silk change purses.
You may be surprised to find that the many beautiful vintage handbags, purses and clutches for sale on-line rival those new designer handbags in the shops and department stores. Why buy new, when you can have a serious collectible item that's so much more eco-friendly?
Antique handbags and purses are works of art that deserve to be well-cared for and enjoyed. So if you are thinking of going green this Mother's Day (or any day), consider giving a retro, or antique handbag, evening bag or purse to the ladies in your life. Once you own one, you’ll want a few more for your collection. Just remember, like shoes, one can never have too many handbags.