Reticule Crochet Lace Silk Drawstring Purse
This lovely rare mid-1890s to 1900s silk reticule purse is a beautiful light cognac and umber brown color and is a conical shape with a hanging tassel.
The purse features an intricate, delicate crochet lace pattern, a scalloped top edge, and double drawstrings with tassels. This purse fabric is silk, and the crochet feels like mercerized crochet luster silky cotton. I have not seen another like this after extensive research.
- 10 1/2" length
- 4 1/2" width
It is measured flat across the top.
- 5 1/2" width
It is measured flat across the middle.
- 5" hanging tassel
Clean interior, no stains or odors. Due to age, the purse was brushed lightly, vacuumed with a screen, and lightly steamed.
This purse is in beautiful condition for its age and handling. Crochet has no pulls or breaks and is tight—fabric and straps are sturdy for rare special occasions and as a collectible. The fabric is also in excellent condition, without any fabric decay or tears I can find. A tiny area on the material is lighter than others. This area is so little to discover.
Crochet has a nice deep yellow gold-aged coloring. Both sides of the purse are in photographs for further inspection of the bag. It is photographed with white tissue paper inside to show the crochet pattern.
Please see the photographs for further inspection.
Era: 1890 -1900s
The purse is called the "Reticule" in France; England called it the "Indispensable."
Reticules are small drawstring purses, also known as the indispensable purse, which were the first actual handbag carried by women from the 17th to 19th centuries. With changing fashions, the full-skirted dresses with pockets fell out of style during the 18th century after the discovery of Pompeii, creating a trend for slimline silhouettes from Greek and Roman styles, leaving women without a way to carry their small daily items. Thus came the handbag invented with a cord or chain was born.
Reticule bags were handmade by ladies at home to show their feminine skills. At the same time, it allowed them the freedom to be an artist and design a one-of-a-kind purse or plainer everyday bag. Manufacturing in the 19th century immensely helped with the development of new materials.
In the 16th century, the first handbag was attached to a chatelaine hook to carry keys, sewing items, and other bags due to voluminous skirts. You could wear bags on each hip, referred to as thigh pockets.