These two designer bags were made in 2003 and signed by Charleston designer, Mary K. Norton. They were retailed under her Moo Roo / Charleston label at her shop at 316 King Street. 

The black satin purse with three fabric magnolias is entitled Southern Lady. The stiff fabric bag has a flap over the font, closing with a magnetic button. It is lined with black satin. 

The flamboyant ostrich feather bag is entitled Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The flowing feather extend beyond the bottom of the bag. It is open at the top with a small flap to close with a magnetic button and the bag is lined with black satin.

Mary K. Norton founded her company in 1998; within eight years it grew to international proportions and locations. She created handbags and shoes for the stars. Her whimsical yet sophisticated designs appealed on many levels and found favor with both red carpet stars and stylish clients. Her boutiques were forced to close in 2009, but in 2010 she restarted her Moo Roo brand and is now even back on King Street at Art Mecca of Charleston.

Both bags are on exhibit in Fashion Accessories: Purses January 25 – April 27, 2014

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This stylish early 20th century purse or handbag is luscious red velvet with red leather side and bottom gussets. The front scalloped pocket is ornamented with red leather pointed ovals studded with steel beads. The bag has a steel frame with knob clasp and the red velvet handle attaches to the frame with steel fittings shaped like hands grasping the frame. Elegant but also practical, it is lined with tan cotton.
The purse came to the Museum in 2007 from the granddaughter of Eulalie Northrop Wall, Marion, S.C. It was found in a trunk of her things, including her wedding dress from 1912. Helen Eulalie Northrop was born in Idaho in 1891 but married John Furman Wall, a Marion, S.C. native. His military service took him around the globe during and after World War I. She died in 1964 and they are both buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Perhaps this wonderful purse dates to around the time of her marriage.
See this purse and many more in our exhibit Fashion Accessories: Purses!
TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This stylish early 20th century purse or handbag is luscious red velvet with red leather side and bottom gussets. The front scalloped pocket is ornamented with red leather pointed ovals studded with steel beads. The bag has a steel frame with knob clasp and the red velvet handle attaches to the frame with steel fittings shaped like hands grasping the frame. Elegant but also practical, it is lined with tan cotton.

The purse came to the Museum in 2007 from the granddaughter of Eulalie Northrop Wall, Marion, S.C. It was found in a trunk of her things, including her wedding dress from 1912. Helen Eulalie Northrop was born in Idaho in 1891 but married John Furman Wall, a Marion, S.C. native. His military service took him around the globe during and after World War I. She died in 1964 and they are both buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Perhaps this wonderful purse dates to around the time of her marriage.

See this purse and many more in our exhibit Fashion Accessories: Purses!

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Our little painted velvet and silk bag was made by Maria Martin [Bachman], probably in the 1820s. The bag is silk, with cream velvet inserts, each painted with a lovely flower. Silk tassel fringe encircles each insert and across the bottom of the bag. The top has an encased drawstring ribbon, too delicate to pull at this time.

Maria was born in Charleston on July 3, 1796, the youngest of four daughters of John Jacob and Rebecca Martin. When her sister, Harriet, married Rev. John Bachman (1790-1874) of St. John’s Lutheran Church in 1816, Maria and her mother also became part of the new household.  After her sister Harriet’s death in 1846, Maria married the Rev. John Bachman on December 28, 1848. She died in Columbia in December 1863.

John James Audubon, a friend of the Bachman family, noticed Maria’s talents as a watercolorist on his visit in 1831. She subsequently supplied many paintings of plants that were used as backgrounds for Audubon’s birds in The Birds of America. In doing so, she became the only well-known South Carolina female artist of the 19th century.

Coming Friday: a selection of Maria’s watercolors will be featured in our Ephemera Friday posting for 3/8/13

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

This forest green wool dress is a two-piece outfit – bodice and skirt. Both display the styling fashionable in the 1890s. It has the wonderful puffy sleeves and long, full but smooth skirt. The Gibson Girl look was popularized by Charles Dana Gibson through his many, often satirical, illustrations in newspapers and magazines. Our dress has elaborate trim of copper, green and silver beads and sequins on green net over green satin, along with bands of satin braid and ribbons.

It was worn by the donors’ grandmother, Claudia Rhodes Dunbar (1865-1949) in Spartanburg, and would have been perfect for holiday gatherings.

She might have carried a purse like this one, green suede pouch that folds at the top. It has a green drawstring cord handle and is trimmed with white and green beaded fringe and beaded tassel. It was given to the Museum in memory of the donor’s mother, Ruth Layton Griffin (1914-1975) but was more likely carried by her mother, Ellen Row Sisson Layton (1886-1956) of Georgetown.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Embroidered bag, by Mrs. James Burges, c. 1795. The maker was probably Mary Margaret Dennis (born 1779) who married James Burges in 1799. Each side of the bag has delightful floral embroidery in silk thread.

This bag is currently on exhibit in Lowcountry Embroidery.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Black satin purse, almost entirely covered with silk embroidery, Oriental, early 20th century. Probably made from a panel made for the export market, this beautifully designed embroidery has motifs typical of Chinese workmanship. The ivory Netsuke (man, monkey and ball) clasp is probably from Japan. The bag is lined with changeable silk (pink/gray), has two gathered pockets inside and also contained a gold leather wallet when it was given to the Museum. The 1917 penny found inside also helps date it. This lovely accessory was given to the Museum in 1979 by Gertrude Sanford Legendre (1902-2000); she or her mother may have owned it. Click here to learn a little bit more about Mrs. Legendre.HT 5771TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Black satin purse, almost entirely covered with silk embroidery, Oriental, early 20th century. Probably made from a panel made for the export market, this beautifully designed embroidery has motifs typical of Chinese workmanship. The ivory Netsuke (man, monkey and ball) clasp is probably from Japan. The bag is lined with changeable silk (pink/gray), has two gathered pockets inside and also contained a gold leather wallet when it was given to the Museum. The 1917 penny found inside also helps date it. This lovely accessory was given to the Museum in 1979 by Gertrude Sanford Legendre (1902-2000); she or her mother may have owned it. Click here to learn a little bit more about Mrs. Legendre.

HT 5771

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Armor-mesh bag with enameled design, probably 1920s. The Mandalian Manufacturing Company of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, produced such bags promoting them as or Lustro Pearl  or “pearlized mesh.” Mandalian developed this unique process, producing a lustrous glow on the furnace-fired enameled links. A native of Armenia, Turkey (born in 1869), Sahatiel Gabrabed Mandalian used designs influenced by near Eastern carpet patterns as well as naturalistic flowers, birds and butterflies. The company was in existence until 1944 when it was sold to the successful White & Davis Company. Mandalian died in 1949.  This lovely Gloria bag has a jointed frame referred to as “bracelet style” which springs open when the clasp is released. 

The bag came to The Charleston Museum from the Estate of Martha K. LaFourcade, 28 Warren Street. Charleston.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday