c1970s Clutch Purse with Bird and Flower Decoration
Our attention was immediately attracted by the colourful exterior of this unusual clutch purse! It was a difficult item to date, and we have suggested that it was produced around the 1970s, but it could actually have been made before that decade. There is no maker's label (or country of origin), and the purse looks to have been seldom used (factors which add to the difficulty in establishing its age). It is a small item, with a neat and compact design. The body is formed from stiffened black fabric, with a smooth surface and a satiny sheen. The back face and the front face (of the purse flap) display the same vibrant design, that has stitchwork depicting birds, flowers and greenery - the stitchwork looks to be identical on both faces, suggesting it was carried out by machine, rather than by hand. The colours include tones of orange, purple, peach, blue and green, but there are also pale-coloured threads which add highlighting touches. The black background ensures the design stands out boldly, and the silky shimmer of the threads gives radiance to the purse's overall appearance. Further decorative detail is supplied by a bright, gold-coloured border (which follows the outside edges of the purse), and we presume this was also designed to help protect the edges of the black fabric from wear. The purse flap is secured via a silvertone metal press stud fastener, and the interior is lined with the same smooth black fabric as seen on the exterior. There are two pockets, both of which have a gathered top edge. The only name visible on the purse can be seen on the metal fastener, and this states 'NEWEY PAT. 201430-22'. The name refers to British company Newey Brothers, which was based in Birmingham (but also with a London office), and which looks to have originally been established at the very end of the eighteenth century. By the early to mid-twentieth century, the company was a premier manufacturer of dress and hair items including hooks and eyes, snap fasteners, corset, garter and suspender fittings, plus hair grips and pins. The patent mentioned above was applied for by James Newey in 1922 (and granted in August 1923), and it related to improvements in snap fasteners. Whilst the patent dates to an early decade of the twentieth century, we think that the manufacturing style of this purse indicates a much later item.
Country of manufacture:
Product ref: B522
Excellent. Whilst small in size, this striking purse continues to create an impact, and as mentioned earlier, it reveals minimal evidence of use. The exterior is clean and robust, and the stiffened black fabric shows no damaged or weakened areas. The key attraction remains the bold stitchwork, with colours that display crisp details and a vibrant appearance throughout. The gold-coloured edging is intact, and it has a shining finish. The fabric interior lining feels smooth to the touch, and the black colour retains its depth. Any marking to the interior fabric is very slight and not easily noticed. The press stud fastener closes firmly and securely.
Material: Stiffened fabric body (with stitchwork decoration), metal fastener, fabric interior
Measurements: w:170mm x h:110mm