This double-tiered, late 1940s Bakelite handbag or vanity purse makes for a beautiful accent to any formal evening wear or a fun outfit for out on the town. The handbag is solid butterscotch-colored Bakelite, except for the gold-tone metal accents of hinges and clasp and handle anchors (see accompanying photographs, please). Each tier can easily hold money, credit cards, handkerchief, jewelry, cosmetics, other small objects and even a cell phone! Located on the inside lid of the handbag is a mirror.
This Bakelite handbag is in great vintage condition with just minor scuffing, a rarity for a vanity purse that has lasted more than 70 years. Both the clasp and purse handle are in wonderful working condition. Only the mirror is marred by a large gray blotch.
For those unfamiliar with Bakelite, it is one of the first plastics made from synthetic components. Bakelite was used for its electrical nonconductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings, and such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, and children's toys. In 1993. Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society in recognition of its significance as the world's first synthetic plastic. The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products and labor-intensive manufacturing has made them collectible in recent years.
This delightful and unforgettable Bakelite handbag would make for a wonderful gift for any occasion for that special lady or even young woman in your life. If you are a collector of Bakelite accessories, then this vanity purse would make a fine addition to your collection.