Rare First Washable Handbag
This red linen vintage drawstring handbag came from my favorite estate - I talk about it a lot, so if you are familiar with my site, you will know about this one! The woman who owned this estate of clothing, shoes, and accessories from the 1930's through the 1970's had absolutely the VERY best of everything! Top designer pieces, many important pieces that were museum quality, and I almost wish I'd kept it all! She was way ahead of her time and invested in designers like Claire McCardell, Clare Potter an Norman Norell before anyone did!
This handbag appears relatively simple, and since I'd never heard of the Virginia Art Goods Studios, I wasn't sure why it was part of her handbag collection. After doing some research, I found out that it was one of the very first "washable" handbags, patented in 1934. It was invented by Rohr Mamie and Bertie Thornhill, who held several design patents for handbags. This was probably something she thought was important because of its design - the bag has an inside compartment that forms an open "box" that is removable so that the fabric can be washed.
The bag appears unused and has its original coin purse that matches the fabric of the "box" inside. The cloth portion measures 9 inches high and the box section is 6 X 6 inches. The label reads; Virginia Art Slat Bag, and it is a wonderful handbag for the collector!