Object of the Day

Multi-Colored Beaded Purse, 1917

The Clothing & Textiles collections contains many fashion objects other than dresses, suits and quilts.  Purses, fans, parasols and umbrellas, gloves, shoes and other accessories are a large component of these collections.

Made in France, this beaded purse has a brass frame, and a colorful geometric design on both sides with fringe and a chain strap.  It also has a small, round mirror for accessible primping.  Belonging to Mrs. Ruth Bryant, this purse was given to her by a young French Chasseur of “The Blue Devils” during World War I in 1917.

A mountain unit of the French Army, created in the late 19th century, were called the Chasseurs Alpins.  They were formed as a defense along the Alps border with Italy.  During World War I, they were called the “Blue Devils” by the Germans because of their blue uniforms, their “dashing” attacks and fierce fighting techniques.

If you have any other information about this object and Mrs. Harold (Ruth) Bryant, please contact the E&T Division or comment on this page.