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Stunning Antique Art Nouveau Beaded Purse With Lyre

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I have acquired this marvelous Art Nouveau hand woven beaded handbag, made between the late 1800's and the very early 1900's, it's gorgeous.

Antique Art Nouveau beaded purse

The Art Nouveau era is admired for it's grand designs, and it's no wonder, this depiction of lyre and pink roses is simply divine, very alive and dynamic.

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antique beaded purse                    Art Nouveau beaded purse 1900

This antique purse is woven using cut and faceted Bohemian or Czech beads, therefore, they have quite a bit of sparkle, as is apparent in my photos. The first photo was taken with the drapes drawn but as the light came through the window and cast on the purse, this is how it looks and it is a rainy day so you can see how this purse shimmers in minimal lighting. These are a mix of beads to include, white mother-of-pearl, solid, translucent and iridescent glass beads, all in an array of shades. The use of colors differ from one side of the purse to the other side, so I have shown my photos in a front to back sequence so that you could detect these features. The theme is wonderfully charming, with the center arena exhibiting a musical stringed lyre surrounded with bright roses and greenery. I did my best to show the true colors but it was a challenge. Photos, were taken without flash, in natural daylight, please rely on my description as well as the pictures. The roses have several shades of pink, including a somewhat lavender pink. The leaves are 2 shades of green, they might look more teal in my photos but they are more green.

  Silver plated Art Nouveau embossed purse frame

The background bead is a stark iridescent cobalt blue and these beads offer quite a lot of color variations, not to mention intense sparkle. The frame is a classic in Art Nouveau design, with embossed garlands of roses and wreaths as center cartouches. The frame is the same on both side, it is solid and heavy, very capable of supporting this rather large and weighty purse. The interior of the frame is stamped silver plated and the frame is in overall very nice antique condition, showing some tarnish, aging and usage primarily to the interior. The purse is well attached at all points and there are the original beads at each sew hole for added character and dimension. Running the length of the purse, on the outer sides, there is a decorative border of beadwork, finishing off the sides of this purse with style.


The fringes on this purse are a delightful treat. They are very lush and thick, all original, including the decorative ends which sport oval elongated wedding cake beads. My close-up shows this attribute very well and I would think that these beads would have been made in Murano or Venice, Italy. The fringe work is as nice as any I've seen and the color combination is striking. I did not restring these fringe, as they seem secure, but I did pass a thread through the wedding cake beads and attached tassels, just to be sure they would not detach. This purse has been professionally cleaned, it is dramatic and electrifying, looks better than the photos.


The interior lining was no longer present, so I re-lined this purse with an appropriate navy blue cobalt silk. I gathered up the edging into a lovely ruffle, it adds a sweet touch of elegance to the interior and helps to overshadow the edge of the frame, creating a soft and feminine transition. This exciting and dynamic Art Nouveau beaded purse measures generously at 13 inches from the top of the clasp to the bottom of the fringe, 7 inches from side to side, 7 inches across the hinges and the chain handle drops 5 inches. The fringes are 2 inches in length and the wedding cake beads with tassels are 3 inches long. Although this purse measures large, it has no side gusset so you will not want to carry more than necessary. The condition of this purse is everything you could hope for, no apparent negatives or bead loss and wee, if any flaws or age related issues. I think this purse is in amazing condition and I know it's next owner will be captivated by it's overall appearance. This is a fabulous collectors piece in a pattern that is not seen very often.


Item  0-1029 C          This item is sold, sorry no longer available        Place Order via Email

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