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Monday, July 25, 2011

Midcentury Monday #10


Saturday morning, while checking out sponsorship options on various blogs I keep up with, something glittery caught my eye.  I had caught a glimpse of the Enid Collins purse collection of Betty Crafter.

After a little research, like this post on Strawberry Lemonade and registering with the Enid Collins Collection, I have totally fallen for the hand-painted, midcentury-meets-bedazzler style of Enid's kitschy bags.

enid in her studio

Enid and her husband Frederic started out on their small ranch in Texas in 1959.  Enid painted, decorated, and jeweled her signature bags while Frederic fashioned the hinges and hardware out of leather and metal.  They started out simply enough with hand paintings and personal art work, but soon a factory developed turning out thousands of purses.

Fred and employees at an early shop

"By 1968, her whimsical purses were in such hot demand that a factory sprung up, turning out purses by the thousands.  Remember this - all her original purses were signed and dated.  The best purse to have is a pre 1968 purse, in mint condition, signed with the small "ec", the copyright "c", and the date, because these are the times when Mrs. Collins owned the company.   Later purses are signed differently.  The Tandy Company used the running horse with Collin of Texas logo or a capital "C", which purchased Enid's company in 1970.  Although Tandy purses are just as "glittery" as a Collins purse, they are not as desirable in todays vintage market."

Her two main purses were the wooded mahogany box bag and the canvas bucket bag.  The bucket bag had a wooden bottom, leather trim, and made from linen.  The backgrounds were often matte-screened or painted by hand.

Here are some of my favorites!

all images via the Enid Collins Collection unless otherwise noted


d r e w said...

oh, i love EC! thanks for the info.

i once found a "love doves" box bag at a thrift store. great find!

karen marie said...

This post is fantastic! I've never seen her purses before... SO awesome. Thanks so much for all of this info!

Betty Crafter said...

Ok, I'm officially inspired to do a real post on my collection! As a side note, two of the purses you posted are mine - the black and turquoise Sophisitkit and the Daisies Won't Tell! :)

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