Monday, January 22, 2018

100 Purses 100 Years

Last Saturday, [1/20] my girlfriend, Linda, coordinated an outing for six ladies to Toledo, Ohio to attend a handbag exhibit at St. Paul Lutheran Church's HeART Gallery.  I was one of the lucky ladies!

The church was established in 1857 and the current building was built in 1868.  

100 purses were displayed in chronological order spanning 100 years, and tracing the changing roles of women from 1880's to 1980's.  I took pictures to share with you. The majority of the purses were to accompany elegant attire until they neared the 1980's, and then they became more casual and modern.  The purses were displayed in lovely vignettes.

Here's to women's purses [handbags] over the years!  

It was an interesting exhibit.  There are 88 purses pictured, so somehow I missed taking pictures of 12 purses.  

I'm certain during my adulthood I've either given away, thrown away, or sold in garage sales 100 purses.  Do you save your purses for posterity, or get rid of them after they go out-of-style or are no longer used?  

I don't consider myself someone who has a lot of purses, and I don't collect them unless they're tea-themed, then I have a hard time resisting.  For fun I counted my purses and found I currently have 36, one of which was my mother's that she carried at my wedding.  Do you have a lot of purses or collect certain kinds?  I'm not swayed by designer purses with big price tags, and I prefer small or medium size purses.

I remembered my tea and blogging friend, Nancy Reppert, writing a post on her blog about a handbag program at her tearoom, Sweet Remembrances in Mechanicsburg, PA.  The 2014 program was called, "It's in the Bag, Handbags, that is!"  If you would like to see the post, click here.  When I was at Nancy's Halloween Tea in 2016, another attendee [who was a purse collector] offered to buy my friend Linda's pumpkin purse for $200 and she sold it.

On December 5th my tea and blogging friend, Angela McRae, asked the question on Facebook, "What do you call the woman's accessory?  a] Purse  b] Pocketbook  c] Handbag and she received 87 responses.  What do you call it?

Whenever I think of purses, I think of Queen Elizabeth II who is never seen without one whether indoors or outdoors.  She always carries it on her left arm unless she's conveying a secret message to those with her, then she switches it to her right arm.

I decided there surely must be handbag teapots, so I Googled it and sure enough there are! Here's two of many.

Purses are such a fascinating subject, and now my mind is swirling about a program of my own, along with things found inside them!   Three books are in my Amazon cart right now about the fashion accessory.  Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pastries are even made in the shape of purses.

Following the exhibit we attended a lovely tea in the church parlor.  Tomorrow's post...


  1. What beautiful purses! I'm sure the exhibit was quite stunning in person. No, I don't keep most purses, but I do have a beaded evening bag of my grandmother's that I treasure - and use occasionally!

  2. What a fabulous exhibit! If you ever go to Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Museum of Bags and Purses. It is the largest museum of that type of collection in the world with over 4,000 items and housed in a beautiful 17th century building. And they have afternoon tea!
    I basically just carry one purse (yes, I call it purse) these days unless I'm going to a formal event. But I remember back in my college days in the 70's having to match my purse and shoes to the outfit I was going to wear. Now I just keep it simple!
    Have you ever played that game at a shower where there's a list of things that would be carried in your purse and the one with the most matches wins the prize? That would be a fun game to play at your program!

  3. The exhibit sounds wonderful. I was thinking as I was reading that some women probably have a 100 purses in their closet. I do have a few old ones. The one I am carrying now was a Christmas gift.


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