January 28, 2013 | view archive
The latest installment of Lucite handbags caused quite a stir in our booth at the January Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace. The sight of such a large collection assembled in one place stopped people in their tracks.
Remarks ran the gamut from, “My Grandma used to carry one of those!” to “Oh my goodness! Did you make these?” to “I have never seen anything like this in my life!”
Regardless of whether folks knew everything there is to know about Lucite purses, or if they were seeing these beauties for the very first time, one thing was sure: There wasn’t a person who didn’t swoon over these retro beauties.
A BRIEF HISTORY
“Lucite” is one of many names for a synthetic polymer, otherwise known as “acrylic glass.” The material made its market debut in 1933, under the trademark Plexiglass.
By the late 1940s, Lucite purses were being produced by a number of designers. Big names include:
- Patricia of Miami
Women of every ages and every glass carried these handbags during the peak of their popularity, from around 1949-1959.
There is something nearly ethereal in the translucent appeal of these little plastic wonders. Now considered works of art, Lucite purses are highly sought after among collectors, being equally fabulous as a fashion accessory or displayed as part of a collection.
READY TO COLLECT?
Whatever the color, Lucite handbags are hot, hot, hot. Perennial favorites among collectors, these bags haven’t lost their appeal among the vintage clothing and accessories crowd for more than 25 years.
Things to consider:
- Design: Is it an unusual shape?
- Trim: Does it have interesting trim or decoration?
- Condition: Remember, warps, cracks and crazing cannot be repaired.
Every bag is collectible, but some colors are more valuable than others. Colors in order of popularity are:
- Emerald Green
- Powder blue
… more common colors like tortoise, clear, grey and white are not as popular, but are still very desirable.
We think these lovely little bags have great universal appeal. The only problem we foresee is stopping with just one!
Find your dream bag at our Valentine's Day SWAG Auction.
A view of Lucite handbags in a SoHo storefront. Photo courtesy of Janice Barta
Jump start your own pocketbook passion at our Valentine SWAG Auction on February 14.