|Sue Clynick has an amazing collection of
antique beaded and metal mesh purses. She
had over 75 different purses on display at
the James Valley Threshing Show, along with
a fascinating collection of vintage women's
clothing, accessories and antiques.
"There were a few things
sparked my interest in antiques,"
said. "I believe there is
a little bit
of a magpie in many of us who
have an attraction
to the pretty, shiny things in
life. My mom
and my grandpa introduced me
at an early age, and colored
glass has always
been my favorite."
Sue believes her childhood friend
mother started her interest in
purses. "For my high school
she gave me a black beaded bag
with two love
birds sitting on a rose, and
a cabochon sapphire
in the clasp. This special gift
been my all time favorite,"
Sue holds the "love birds" beaded
"The value of each purse
its history and rarity, but the
is important too," Sue explained.
beads are missing, or if enamel
from a pattern
painted on metal mesh has been
the value decreases."
Even though she had received
her first purse
at the age of 18, Sue reports,
did not seriously start collecting
I was 30. After my mother passed
bought my second purse, one that
I had admired
for a long time at Lauinger's
It was made of metal mesh and
face and flowing beard on its
that I would pick one up here
and there from
auctions or at antique shops
until the 90's
and the birth of eBay,"
"That was when I searched
and found most of the purses
I now have."
"When I really began to collect purses,
I had the help of my two daughters,"
Sue said. "Not only was it something
we enjoyed doing together, but they have
developed a keen eye for purses," she
explained. "A very important part of
my collection is the memories I have of the
people who gave them to me and the wonderful
closeness I shared with my daughters when
we found something unique." Sue shrugs.
"Hopefully my daughters and grandchildren
will enjoy them for many years after I'm
|Another purse that Sue is very fond of is
an Art Deco copper-colored beaded purse with
a beaded handle. "I am especially fond
of the long matching gloves which also have
beads on them. I can just imagine Marilyn
Monroe wearing those gloves and carrying
that purse when she was alive," Sue
"Peacocks were a popular
decorated purses and are
among my favorites."
Sue explained. "In
the display is a
gold purse I purchased
on eBay even though
the picture was very bad.
When it arrived,
I was surprised to see
that it coincidentally
has my initials on it."
"One of my favorite
purses was one I
bought at an auction in
Sue said. "This unique
was made of beautiful blue
beads with a jewel and
enameled push button
Some of the purses have
on the clasp. This, too,
adds to the value,
especially if the painting
is in good shape
and not chipped.
Sue has more purses than just the ones on
display. When she is not displaying them
or giving talks about them, she keeps them
individually wrapped and safely placed in
storage. "The purses, both beaded and
metal mesh, cannot be hung for long periods
of time," Sue explains. "The weight
of the beads and the metal can cause much
damage to the purse itself. Its weight actually
causes its own undoing."
Copper beaded purse and gloves
The Peacock and Gold Initialed purses
(exerpt from story by Dorene