Enameled mesh dance purse

Antique Links

Books About Antique Purses That I Recommend:
A Passion for Purses book cover  

The newest book on antique purses, there is a special emphasis on very early antique purses.  Contains previously unseen purses from private collections that have never before been published.  There is a chapter dedicated to restoration of vintage bags, with instructions for repair and cleaning, plus photos; tips when purchasing bags; and choosing the right purse frames.

Beads on Bags book cover   Beads on Bags: 1880s to 2000 (Schiffer Book for Collectors)
by Lorita Winfield

A fabulous book on antique beaded purses, it has over 600 detailed color photographs and includes information on care, history, and design techniques.  Includes a current value guide.  I would strongly recommend buying this book before investing in a collection.

The Perfect Mesh book cover   Whiting & Davis Purses - The Perfect Mesh
by Leslie Pina and Donald-Brian Johnson

Don't let the title fool you - this book covers both Whiting & Davis and Mandalian mesh purses.  The first-ever book devoted solely to mesh purses.  Includes a price guide.

Vintage Vanity Bags book cover   Vintage Vanity Bags and Purses: An Identification & Value Guide
by Roselyn Gerson

This book is devoted to vanity bags and includes no other kind of purses.  However, it is definitely the best source of information on vanity bags.  Includes a price guide but is somewhat out of date as the book was published in 1994.  The book is currently out of print but can be found used through Amazon.com

More Beautiful Purses book cover   More Beautiful Pursesby Evelyn Haertig

This reference book is "the definitive book on antique handbags."  Best source for a history of bags and frames.  Beautiful pictures.  Unfortunately, no price guide.  The book is currently out of print but can be found used through Amazon.com

Purse Masterpieces book cover   Purse Masterpieces: Identification & Value Guide
by Lynell Schwartz

Second book by Lynell Schwartz has sections on beaded, mesh and dance purses.  Many examples pictured in this book have never been seen before, some of them dating to the 18th century.  Another book currently out of print that can be found used at Amazon.com.

Vintage Purses book cover   Vintage Purses: At Their Best (Schiffer Book for Collectors)
by Lynell K. Schwartz

Covers a wide variety of antique purses including beaded, mesh, petit-point, tapestry, and embroidered.  Includes historical information on the factories that made the purses.  This is the 2nd edition of the book, with price guide revised in 2004.

Web Sites Regarding Antique Purses:
Purse Masterpieces  Finally, a web site by author Lynell Schwartz! Purse Masterpieces offers an interesting selection of vintage beaded and mesh purses, purse frames, vanity bags and compacts as well as costume jewelry for sale! Some of the purses come straight out of the books!
Antique Purse Collector's Society  A grass-roots organization of 230+ ladies (and a few gentlemen) who collect beaded, mesh, petitpoint purses, as well as compacts, vanity purses, tiffany handbags and more. See and be part of their online Members Museum, with a wide variety of exquisite bags such as the finest scenic purses with jeweled frames, Whiting Davis, Mandalian, etc. There is also a Discussion Board, Chat Room, 19 purse-book reviews, tons of Display Ideas for your purses, listings of people who specialize in repairing antique purses, care and cleaning tips and much much more. The have an Annual Gathering of members.
Antique Purse Restorers:
I can recommend the restorers below
Personal Touch Beaded Purse Repair  Patty repairs all types of beaded purses and beadwork, including steel beaded purses.  She also is the only person I know who does celluloid repair.  Check out her before and after pictures. 
Beaded Purse Repair  Antique beaded purse restoration is Terri's specialty.  She believes in historically accurate repairs and has an extensive inventory of antique seed beads that enables her to use authentic, period-precise color and size matches when replacing beads and fringes on your purse. 
Vintage Purse Works  Dorita specializes in the repair and restoration of antique and collectable metal mesh purses. Her repair philosophy is to preserve as much of the original integrity of a purse as possible.