The bags that are always necessary, their practical use and the fashion statements that they have made.
Bags can be traced back well into ancient history. They were used by men and women to carry their belongings, as well as food, weapons, jewelry, and money. Double-treated leather bags to be hung on sticks, as well as bags made of linen and papyrus, were discovered in Egyptian burial chambers of the Old Kingdom. The ancient Greeks used leather bags called byrsa as coin pouches; This is the source of the English word “purse”. Drawstring purses, an item that was always worn close to the body and mostly hung on a belt or hidden in folds of clothing, were used to carry coins.
One of the earliest ornate leather purses was found on the Anglo-Saxon burial mounds of Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, believed to have been the burial place of King Roewald. The leather body of the bag had deteriorated, but the gold-plated ornaments remained intact and contained forty gold coins. They hung on hinge straps on a hip belt that was fastened with a large gold buckle. The purse had a lavish lid adorned with gold, silver, grenades and millefiori glass.
Until the thirteenth century in Western Europe, the popular term for a bag was an “almoner,” or alms bag, which was a purse for coins to be given as a charity. Almoners gave Christian charity a rather conspicuous side; The richer the wallet, the more generous the social image of the lady who wore it.
Dolce and Gabbana Byzantine Mosaic Bead Bag
Gifts of romance
The most amusing and sophisticated bags of the 14th and 15th centuries were made as gifts to lovers and decorated with scenes and mottos indicating the trials of romanticism. The tradition of the wedding or engagement bag originated in the medieval custom of a groom who presented his bride with a sack of coins.
The advent of elaborate bags
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the smallest bags indicated the greatest status. Small, square embroidered bags filled with scented pomanders, rose petals, rare spices, and oils were carried to smell skirts and cuffs and used as containers for personal gifts. Over time, these bags and purses took on increasingly decorative forms.
Chinese Qianlong Qing Silk Embroidery Badge Rang Kesi Purse
The Elizabethans had a penchant for visual representations and allegories. A bag in the shape of an acorn symbolized thrift, but was likely worn like a precious jewel wrapped around the wrist or crashed into full skirts. Satchels and sacks worn all over were intended for farmers and pilgrims; often made from recycled scraps of fabric; Few examples have survived their daily use, and these bags are mainly known today from paintings and etchings.
The evening bag
The rise of the evening bag can be dated to the 17th century. These bags are designed to sit flat on a table. They reflect a new sophistication in the form. With a flat, tightly gathered drawstring body attached to a circular base stiffened with cord or leather, the bases of these bags were often decorated with their owner’s initials or coat of arms. The bags consisted of interlocking panels in the form of shields, crescents and pentagons and told little stories on each individually embroidered panel.
Bags for men, purses for women
Men tucked wallets up their sleeves or hung over belt buckles, but they were no longer dangling from leather or cloth bags on a long drawstring at the waist. Male fashion was made even leaner with tight breeches and cropped coats, forcing men to compress their needs into bespoke wallets that contained everything from nail scissors and compass to snuff bottles. Eighteenth-century women wore small purses on their wrists, large work bags made of silk and cotton for personal items on their arms, and had extra storage space for large pear-shaped bags tied around their hips under their petticoats. This extra space spawned a handbag culture. Women got used to carrying their work bags socially and storing extra items for the evening like fans, smelling salts, cosmetics and opera glasses. Inside the pockets were small leather-bound paperback books, the printed pages of which contained calendars, recipes, songs and holy days, as well as engravings of the latest clothing and hats.
The handbag as a fashion statement
Despite the generous generosity of pockets and knot pockets, small purses remained popular with women.
From the 1770s onwards, fine sable bead bags were made in Paris, into which up to 1,000 tiny glass beads were woven into every square centimeter of the surface of the bag, which gave color, writing, figures and details a remarkable clarity. One such pearl bag from 1784 was decorated with hot air balloons and the face of Jean-Francois Pilâtre de Rozier, the French balloonist who made his maiden voyage the year before. Printed images on silk also made it possible to quickly produce commemorative and novelty bags.
Frame bags began to come into use in the nineteenth century. Home-made bags advertised the skill of their maker and were given eccentric, almost esoteric details. The Victorian era idealized domesticity and sentimentality, and bags reflected these themes with handcrafted patterns of the home and stove (purchased commercially or made at home), hand-painted scenes of mourning on black satin, and arrangements of flowers encoded with private messages for loved ones Ones.
Vintage Chanel Gold Leather Shoulder Bag
By the 1880s, the handbag had become an integral part of fashion. Most of the classic bags known today were invented and developed by the great luggage and saddlery houses of Paris in the late 19th century. Louis Vuitton made suitcases for Napoleon III. His steam suitcase from 1901, which is supposed to hang from the back of a cabin door with a long canvas body and short, strong leather straps, is the forerunner of the shopping bag.
The Noe bag was designed by Vuitton in 1932 as a shoulder bag for exactly five bottles of champagne. This design formed the basis for all subsequent shoulder strap pouch bags. Designed by Hermès in 1933, the Plume bag was based on a square horse blanket bag and was updated with thin center straps and a zipper that encircled the body of the bag. This simple square bag was the model for the gym bag including the 1980s Adidas tennis bag and the 1990s Prada bowling bag. Bags have since gone to extremes, but their origins always return to these three templates of the bag, the bucket and the box that formed the geometric foundations of 20th century design.