September 28, 2014

Vintage Purses with a History by Leah Loverich

This morning's guest post comes by way of one of those ravishingly lovely ladies for whom the word ethereal was invented. From the moment I first discovered Leah's beguilingly beautiful blog and enchanting vintage fashion sense, I was royally smitten. Leah has a great passion for Victorian, early and mid-twentieth century fashions, accessories, jewelry, shoes, ephemera, photographs and other related treasures and an artist's touch when it comes to display and photographing some of her collection for her splendid blog.

Sweet, dreamy, instantly inspiring site that it is, I've been hooked on her blog since that aforementioned first encounter and was thrilled when Leah kindly took me up on my offer to guest post while we're off on our fabulous Vancouver Island holiday (many sincere thanks for doing so, dear gal).

Today she has put together a terrific guest post that shines the well deserved spot onto two sublimely pretty vintage purses, and some of the fascinating history behind them, from her own personal collection. Whether this is your first introduction to Leah or you're a long standing fan as well, I think you'll agree me that there truly is an ethereal quality that runs though every last thing that she shares, writes and creates.

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Hello lovely followers of Chronically Vintage, my name is Leah and I can most often be found blogging over at or sharing the occasional photo over at, however today I am absolutely delighted be posting to this wonderful blog of Jessica's, it is an absolute honour and I do hope you all enjoy what I have to share!


I like to use my blog as a place to document my vintage and antique collecting, and so I often make posts dedicated to sharing photographs of an item, along with sharing details of what I know about the items past, how I have come to own the item, and how I use it, and today I will be doing just that within this post with two of my favourite little sparkly purses...





I purchased the dainty purse above at the very beginning of this year along with a few other beaded purses within a box, this one was the very last one I cared to take a look at after having purchased as it was least favourite, though that soon changed when I discovered the little pieces of history within it; two Theatre tickets for the Lyceum in London on the 27th of December 1935! I think this may be the first time/only time so far that I have come by an item of vintage with a piece of evidence attached which proved exactly when the item was used. It does make me wonder though if that was the last time this sweet little purse was ever used before I became the owner...


- The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,100-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, London.

- There has been a theatre with this name in the locality since 1765.

- The first London exhibition of waxworks displayed by Madame Tussaud was displayed in the Lyceum.

- After a fire, the house was rebuilt and reopened on 14 July 1834 to a design by Samuel Beazley.

- In 1904 the theatre was almost completely rebuilt and richly ornamented in Rococo style by Bertie Crewe, but it retained Beazley's fa├žade and grand portico.

- It played mostly melodrama over the ensuing decades. The building closed in 1939 and was set to be demolished, but it was saved and converted into a Mecca Ballroom in 1951, styled the Lyceum Ballroom, where many well-known bands played.

- The Lyceum was closed in 1986 but restored to theatrical use in 1996 by Holohan Architects. Since 1999, the theatre has hosted The Lion King.

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The above copper sequin purse joined my collection a couple of years ago when I purchased a 1930s wedding dress, at the time I hadn't realized that a glitzy little bag and matching wax flower hair crown was included but it certainly did make a lovely surprise! I love the idea of a 1930s bride adding some copper sparkle to her attire in the form of a purse, and well I just adore the idea of this bag having attended a 1930s wedding in general!

It does have some wear, especially to the handle but I always feel that sort of wear can add charm to a vintage item, it shows that the item has been enjoyed enough to eventually cause wear, it must have indeed been loved. I added some history to this purse too when I took it along on a visit to the Ritz London for Afternoon Tea a little over a year ago ...Now that is something I recommend all vintage loving lovelies (and even those who are not so fond of vintage) to place on their "to visit" list.

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Have you ever found a little pieces of history like a ticket or receipt before in an item of vintage?

Thank you for viewing / reading! xx Leah Loverich


  1. Gorgeous sparkly! I am like a magpie when I see shiny things! Love it.

  2. Gorgeous post - I just followed her blog! The first bag is so pretty and how amazing to find the tickets inside it. :)

  3. Yes! I love finding little things in vintage purses. I've found hankies (Kind of gross but I wash them in bleach and use them as bandanas for my dog.), a little golf pencil, a comb, a mirror, change, and a grocery list. It gives me a little insight to the owner and what her life was like. :)

    I love your wedding purses. They're beautiful. Do you use them?


  4. Beautiful pair of handbags! I've not found anything so wonderful as theatre tickets in a vintage bag or coat pocket (yet!), but as a collector of vintage sewing patterns, have always loved finding a fabric swatch or note inside a pattern envelope, and of course seeing the notes a long-ago seamstress scribbled onto the pattern envelope regarding what fabric she was going to use and that sort of thing.

  5. It's a great pleasure to read this post. I'm always interested in the story behind a vintage or antique item. As a historian, I try to have an open eye for the "trivial" story of things and humans, the everyday history. I recently won the auction for a box full of unfinished vintage crochet bags, and included there was a bunch of zippers still in the brown paper bag from the haberdashery store. They came along with the receipt, and I kept it as I love to think of the woman that bought all that stuff, crocheted the bags but never came around to finish them with lining and zipper. I'm too sentimental. :-)

  6. Beautiful bags. I enjoyed reading their stories. Do you know what was on at the Lyceum at that time?

  7. Very nice! Pretty vintage eye candy! Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

  8. Once I found two theatre tickets from 1965 in a dark brown Kelly-like snakeskin bag. Which I didn't buy and still regret, ouch. :( Your vintage bags are very lovely, thanks for sharing them.

  9. Oh wow, these hand bags are a true treasure.
    I did find a little treasure once inside a book, it was the insurance documents (circa 1917) in NYC of the owner of the book. I thought it was so interesting, when did this person see these last… who touched them and how long ago..