Historical information

The Kew Historical Society's Fashion & Design collection includes a small and representative collection of reticules, purses and handbags, inherited, owned, used and or donated by members of the Society. These items date from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, and conform to fashions and styles popular during the period of their use. Some of the items are handmade, while others are mass-produced commercial products.


An earlier inventory of the collection identified an Eighteenth century French evening bag. While the frame shows some affinities with models of that period, its dating has provisionally been made to the Nineteenth century, until expert advice is sourced.

Physical description

Densely beaded evening bag on a gilded metal frame. The beads are woven in a a variety of abstract and geometric patters, including a cross within an octagon at centre. The bag is held by a white metal chain.