Things Found In Handbags

I’d planned for this post to be about handbags, and it is, sort of. It’s related, anyway.

Next week will be devoted to handbags. Beautiful examples, clever examples, still-in-production examples. But my list became too many for a single post. As a little whet-your-whistle, today will instead be about things that I’ve found in handbags that I’ve bought at estate sales.

I can practically guarantee that in every purse purchased from an estate sale, you will find any or all of the following:

  • bobby pins
  • a safety pin
  • a pill of some sort, in my experience usually Tums (these pills are NEVER wrapped in any way)
  • a neatly folded facial tissue
  • toothpicks

Each purse I buy gets a visual inspection, then gets turned over a trash bin before the real clean-out for resale begins. I don’t want to touch that tissue, no matter how neatly folded it is.

Once in a while, however, I’m rewarded with a treasure of some sort. A shopping list. A creased coupon clipped from some aged newspaper. A receipt. And happy me, found inside the calico inner pocket of a woven basket bag, I found these two photos.

I don’t know who they are. The gent’s photo, with staple marks and a partial stamp (reading …AAMSE TOB…, “Vlaamse” is Dutch for “Flemish” so there’s that much, maybe), appears to be an ID photo. I gleaned from other items I spotted at that estate that the man of the house, possibly this man shown here, was an avid cyclist. He certainly looks athletic, no? The woman’s photo has some writing on the back, but it’s far too faded for me to make out anything besides “1953.” Based on the combination of letter pairs, the other photo, and a receipt—also in the handbag—from a shop with locations in Amsterdam, Zaandam, and Haarlem, I assume that whatever it says is written in Dutch. How much do we love her notch-collar jacket?

If you’re curious, the only other item I found in this purse was a round-head screw.



Filed under collections, fashion, life-threatening clutter, shopping, vintage

4 responses to “Things Found In Handbags

  1. Brady Darnell

    The man reminded me of Buster Crabbe at first glance. The fact that he’s not looking right at the camera also suggested an actor’s headshot, but maybe I’m projecting a modern context onto it. Maybe that’s how ID photos were posed back then.
    Interesting find.

    • He does have the look of a swimmer! Funny that you should choose Buster Crabbe; my grandfather was a salesman for Cascade (Buster Crabbe) pools for many years, and my grandmother is still tickled by her brushes with the star at the annual conventions.

  2. Erica

    He actually looks exactly like a Danish man I know! Awesome find!

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