Patterns For Authentic Flapper Style Purses, Bags, and Handbags
I’ve owned several copies of “Emma Post Barbour’s NEW BEAD BOOK” from the roaring 20’s art deco era. The copies I’ve owned have all been dated 1924. This book is absolutely incredible! It is 28 pages long not counting either the front of back covers, and the projects are all pictured in color. This book is not strictly a crochet book; the crochet work incorporates beading too, and the book also features patterns for bags knit with beads. There are also some patterns that require a bead loom.
Here are some photos that were taken of one of my copies of this book. Please click on any of the photos below for a close-up view.
Quoting from the inside front cover:
“From remote antiquity has come the use of beads for personal adornment. A comparison of the beadwork found in the ancient tombs of ancient Egypt with that in vogue at the present time is proof conclusive of the fascination the bright pieces of glass, pottery, metal, bone, ivory, wood, jet, amber, coral, etc have always had for mankind. Savage tribes used beads as a basis of barter, and wampum (beads made of shell) served our own American Indians for money andornament. In certain parts of Africa beads evidently of Phoenician origin are occasionally found embedded in the earth. These are supposed to have been used as a medium of trade by the ancients and are greatly prized.
Since the fourteenth century the manufacture of beads has been a regular industry in Venice, and there are now a number of European countries engaged in bead production. In our own time the fashioning of beaded articles is not a fad; it is more than a love of adornment- it is artistry; there is a certain charm about the combining of the colors which are made more beautiful by the play of light on the surface of the beads. In our military hospitals beadwork whiles away many otherwise weary hours for the convalesents, combining the making of articles for which they recieve compensation with a very pleasant pastime.
So, in presenting this guide to the fashioning of a small number among the thousands of articles which can be made through the use of beads, we wish to leave with you this thought- that beadwork is always worth while; though fashion may change there is always a return to the beaded; the artistic work of your hands today will give you much satisfaction while the vogue is strong; and a work of art always lives, becoming enhanced by age in both value and sentiment. -E.P.B.”
How prophetic those words turned out to be! She wrote them in 1924, and they still hold true today…
In Emma’s lovely book you will learn how to createa variety of beaded items; the majority are purses/handbags/bags. Here is a list of the purses and other projects included:
- The Elizabethe- a smart bag of ample size which you will enjoy carrying-a knitted bag
- The Miser
- La Vogue- these 2 are described as “colorful bags in crochet that are ever popular”
- Rosebud Dewdrop- also crocheted- easily made but very effective
- The matinee- a charming bag for the afternoon- a knitted bag
- The Egyptian- a knitted bag- This very beautiful bag suggests the splendors of old Egypt in its design and coloring.
- Lady Gertrude- a crocheted bag- a gratifying result of a small investment in materials and spare time pleasantly spent.
- Miss Chicago- a crocheted bag- a utility purse for the business woman.
- Coin Purse- crocheted.
- The fleur de lis- a pretty crocheted frame purse- classic motifs developed in beads on an exceptionally attractive bag.
- The Vanite- a crocheted bag for the evening’s enjoyment
- Girdle- a beaded, braided belt
- LA Poudre Puff Case- a pretty vanity item! What a fantastic powder puff case! It is crocheted.
- Dress ornaments- beaded needlework.
- The boulevard- an exquisite knitted frame bag- a suggestion to increase your pleasure in the promenade.
The following are all beaded loom work :
- Conventional necklace
- Slipper Buckle
- Wrist watch band
- Rosebud neckband
- Conventional neckband
The following pieces of jewelry are all crocheted:
- Plain necklace (lariat style with tassels)
- Plain bracelet (lariat style with tassels)
- Spiral necklace
- Spiral bracelet
The following pieces of jewelry & oddments are all beaded needlework:
- Forget-Me-Not necklace
- Lamp shade trimming
- Hat ornament with pendant
- Hat trimming
- Two-strand necklace
- Sally’s Own Dewdrop Bag
The following pieces of jewelry & oddments are all made by loomwork:
- Watch Fob with initial
- Watch Fob with Fleur De Lis pattern
- Rings (woven)
- and last there is a braided bracelet.
Emma concludes the book with a small section called “Applying beads to ready-made articles”. She finishes by saying
“There is much that is beautiful in the world if we but look for it”.
I agree, don’t you?
Instructions are included for all the patterns, including charts/diagrams where necessary. Additionally, there are helpful sections like “Details of Operation”, “Loom Work”, & “Explanation of abbreviations”.
This is a wonderful, wonderful book- certain to delight needlecrafters and purse collectors alike!
Reproductions of this book abound, so if you’re interested in obtaining an inexpensive copy, you should be able to find one pretty easily. On the other hand, if you’re adamant about owning an original, please keep that in mind. I once accidentally bought a reproduction of the book that was billed as an original. I don’t think it was intentionally misrepresented; I believe the seller just didn’t know how to tell the difference. If you’ve handled a lot of old paper, you get a pretty good feel for what’s original and what’s a copy. I’d say that’s probably the easiest way to tell the difference- the feel of the paper. Some reproductions of the book may also be marked as such, but I wouldn’t count on them always being marked. Use your good judgement, and be sure of either the seller’s expertise, or the seller’s return policy (or both!) before spending big bucks to own an original.
Where To Buy Emma Post Barbour’s New Bead Book:
The originals that I’ve sold all went for $100+, so if you find an original for less than that, consider it a bargain. Ebay’s usually your best bet for finding copies of this book.
This link has both auction items and items in ebay stores. Below are a listing of a few of the items available for sale on the auction site, so you can see them at a glance. If you want to see all your choices available, the best bet is to click the link above.
[phpbay]new bead book barbour 1924, 6, “”, republication[/phpbay]
Click here to look for this book at Biblio.com