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Blue Beaded Purse


The Tam O' Shanter coin purse was a novelty of the early 1900's. It had a rounded and beaded bottom section which was attached to a round metal purse top. Often the beadwork was knit into a star or spiral pattern. Magazines offered instructions for making these purses at home. Though the Depression and World War II had taken its toll, women maintained a sense that femininity must keep its place in everyday fashion. Woman thought it admirable to remain pretty despite the economic and social atmosphere. Since they lacked much to carry, their change purses became an important accessory for promoting and preserving style. This small circular beaded purse has nine leaf-like shapes which form a swirl motif on each side, executed in brown, clear and white beads on turquoise bead background. The opening is sealed by a blue, frayed ribbon bow. The cream leather lining has become very worn and dried out. The complex beadwork is still intact but the opening and lining have become worn and frayed through being used regularly.