Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

Lucite Dreams
"Plastics are the wave of the future!!" From the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life."
The movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," is a favorite of mine and a must see each and every Christmas season. I can probably recite all the lines by heart by now. A friend of George Baily goes into the plastics industry and tries to get him to come along, but George's fate is stamped in his father's building and loan company.   
There was a time when anything plastic caught our attention,
even handbags. Made from a grade of plastic called lucite, the bags became the rage in the early 1950s.
Beautiful shapes,
and unique designs,
the bags have become highly sought after collectibles.

A wonderful book that showcases many decades of purse history.
You can find a copy at Amazon here.
I've added a few pictures below of lucite bags that are featured in the book.

Here's a brief history written by Henrietta Timmons of http://henrietta-timmons.wrytestuff.com/swa7069.htm
"Lucite purses got their start in the early 1950’s, when post war technology came up with the idea for a higher class of plastic called lucite. This material was ideal for use in boxy style handbags and could be manufactured in opaque or translucent color. Decorations were easy to add and included confetti, shells, flowers, or just about anything else you could stick on a purse!
These purses became all the rage of bigger cities such as Miami and New York City and the handbag companies loved these bags because they could be made into unusual shapes easily. The most expensive lucite purses were made by Wilardy of New York and were showcased in major department stores throughout the country. Of course with popularity came replication and many cheaper versions were made.
Do you think you have found a genuine high quality lucite purse? The best of the designers were Rialto, Llewllyn, Gilli Originals, Patricia of Miami, Evans, and Myles and Maxim. These companies marked their handbags on the inside with a stamp on the metal frames or a clear label. These bags are now collectors items that sell for large sums but, unfortunately, some of clear labels have fallen off with age making absolute identification difficult."
Check the lucite purse over carefully and realize that, if you are buying for an investment, authentication is very important and if it cannot be proved as real, your investment is worthless.
I wasn't fortunate enough to find out about the purses until the pries had already gone through the roof. The styles are fabulous though and if you are fortunate enough to come across one, grab it and run!!!!
Wishing you all a wonderful start to your week.
Happy Monday!

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  1. These are beautiful. Guess you couldn't get away with just cramming things in - especially into the clear ones.

    1. The big bags that we carry today allow us to haul around far more than we need to. The clear purse, as much as I think it is beautiful and interesting, I would feel a little exposed carrying it. Funny, but what's in my purse is a private thing for me.

  2. ha ha great... I don´t like them... but its great.