Hugh’s Photo Challenge, Week 27: Vintage

This enameled metal mesh purse has been hanging from an equally old dresser for a long time.  It belonged to my grandmother and was probably given to her around the time of her marriage in the early 1920s.IMG_1881

It’s only large enough for a compact and tube of lipstick which is all a young lady on a date needed back then. Her gentleman caller would, of course, provide everything else, including handkerchieves should his date have a sniffle.  Nowadays ladies carry mace and a cell phone.

I love the way the purse feels in my fingers, dainty and playful.  I wish I had a picture of her wearing it but alas the only pictures I have of my grandmother as a young woman show a stern, no-nonsense nurse ready for combat against disease.


Closeup of the detail

Through the inscription on the inside clasp I was able to trace the purse back to Turkish immigrant Sahatiel Mandalia, founder of Mandalian Manufacturing Co. of Massachusetts.  Mandalian was bought out in the 1940s by their rival, Whiting & Davis Co, a company founded in the 1890s and still in business today, which you have to admit is pretty amazing.  However they specialize more in industrial metal mesh than purses these days.

Check out other vintage treasures at Hugh’s News and Views.  

13 thoughts on “Hugh’s Photo Challenge, Week 27: Vintage

  1. I’m definitely enjoying Hugh’s challenge this week. That purse is very striking. I can totally understand why you’ve kept it around.

  2. What a great piece of history about this item, Jan. Thanks for sharing it with us. Hopefully, you’ll come across a photo of this purse and your Grandmother one day. Keep on enjoying it.

    1. Thanks Hugh! My grandmother (and my mother as well) have a tendency to frown when a camera is aimed at them. I just run and hide!

  3. Such a pretty thing! Amazing piece of history, and not only for your family. I wonder if the company owners have a purse like this one in their museum 🙂

  4. I really like this “snapshot” of your grandmother, Jan. The purse is gorgeous, and in pristine condition. As a no-nonsense nurse she may not have used it much. Laughed at your comment (so true!) about what women carry in their purses today.

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