Imperial Russian Brocade Handbag, antique fabric, Schaffer Collection 1936
|Online Auction Description|
The antique brocades that were made into purses like this one were originally religious vestments from the Romanoff Palaces. These textiles were made by Spanish and Italian workers who hand-loomed designs on backgrounds of gold and silver threads that never tarnish. This secret process has not been discovered.
âThe Schaffer Collection of Authentic Imperial Russian Art Treasuresâ was the result of travels by Mr. Alexander S. Schaffer. On several trips he amassed an astonishing collection of art treasures, including antique fabrics. These treasures came not only from the Royal Palaces, but also from the Hermitage Museum and other prominent museums in Russia. This was about 1936.
Following the overthrow of the Romanoffs, the Russian government needed money and ordered troops to seize the brocades and burn them to extract the precious metals woven into them. The garments were reported to be around 150 years old at the time Mr. Schaffer rescued them from destruction.
The floral-patterned brocade made into the purse offered here appears to be of medium-dark green silk floss over a background of gold and green threads; the lining, of a heavy cream-colored silk.
The outside dimensions, closed, are approximately 5 /2â x 7 1/8â. The purse is held closed by a large snap with what looks like âUnited Carrâ stamped on it. The flap at its longest point, over the closure, is about 4â.
On the inside lining of the purse flap, stamped in gold:
the Romanoff Crest, the Imperial Double Eagle
âMade of Russian Imperial Brocade From The Schaffer Collectionâ
There is a pocket in the lining material which holds the 1930s combination mirror and change purse covered to match. There are a few small age spots on the lining material. The precious brocade used on the outside is in excellent antique condition.
First appearing in the Western world as remnants of an imperial dynasty, then a fashion statement, then historical display pieces â items like this from the Scaffer Collection are almost never seen on the market now.
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|Ships From||28411, North Carolina, United States|
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