Embossed handbag | Museum of Bags Amsterdam

Embossed handbag

Embossed leather handbag, France, 1875-1900

With the increase in train and other means of travel in the nineteenth century, sturdier bags were required by travellers.

This led to the emergence of the first leather handbags in around 1880. The first models were small, intended only to carry a purse, notebook, and a train ticket. These hung at the waist, either on a belt or chatelaine. Later versions had handles or wrist rings so that women could wear them on the arm. Colours and leather finishes changed with the fashions. This handbag is made of leather that has been embossed and then lacquered. Embossing is a technique whereby image are stamped onto a surface, usually by means of a press or mould. This type of bag remained popular in a variety of styles until the end of the 1930s.


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