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Vintage Lucite Purses

A brief history and buyer's guide for lucite purses

Lucite purses got their start in the early 1950ís, when post war technology came up with the idea for a higher class of plastic called lucite.

This material was ideal for use in boxy style handbags and could be manufactured in opaque or translucent color. Decorations were easy to add and included confetti, shells, flowers, or just about anything else you could stick on a handbag! 

These purses became all the rage of bigger cities such as Miami and New York City. It was love at first site between handbag companies and lucite purses because they could be made into unusual shapes easily.

The most expensive lucite purses were made by Wilardy of New York and were showcased in major department stores throughout the country. Of course with popularity came replication and many cheaper versions were made. 

Do you think you have found a genuine vintage high quality lucite purse? The best of the designers were Rialto, Llewllyn, Gilli Originals, Patricia of Miami, Evans, and Myles and Maxim. These companies marked their handbags on the inside with a stamp on the metal frames or a clear label.

These lucite handbags are now collectors items that sell for large sums, but unfortunately, some of the clear labels have fallen off with age making absolute identification difficult. Inspect the purse very carefully, and realize that if you are buying for an investment, authentication is extremely important and if it cannot be proved as real, your investment will be worthless.

About the Author:

Henrietta is a handbag designer and the owner of henriettashandbags.com.

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