Regular readers will know that I love vintage clothes, jewellery and accessories, although I don't think I've ever admitted how desperately I love and admire vintage handbags. I have a pretty sizable collection (about 160) and within that collection there are subsets: needlepoint, Italian leather, evening bags, clutches, specific brands and a couple of rather precious antique bags.
I thought you might like to meet my collection of Guccis. I've been collecting these for about five years. I stumbled across my first one on the half price table in a suburban op shop. Before I opened the gold clasp and read the label I knew it was a good piece: the leather was smooth and soft and the hardware was very shiny and attached carefully. All of the seams were stitched, not glued, which is a sure fire indication of a quality piece.
And she was a cute shape.
She had some scuffs but nothing appalling, and nothing that didn't respond to a bit of neutral shoe polish and a leather-polishing cloth. Her strap is very long and she hangs across the body just so, resting perfectly on my hip bone.
Sadly, her interior has started to deteriorate, which is not an uncommon plight amongst older bags. If you are considering buying a vintage bag, be aware that any oily-stickiness on the exterior or interior means that the leather is disintegrating. This can be caused by moisture, poor storage and is exacerbated by age. It looks likes this:
See the soft cracks? Luckily I have an excellent Bag Guy who can work miracles with this bag blight. Tomorrow I'll introduce to two more of the class and show you the bag guy's handiwork.
Oh, and her marked price in the op shop was two dollars - and marked down fifty per cent. So she came home with me for a buck.