|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 purse
"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."
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
Sue explained. "In the display
gold purse I purchased on eBay
the picture was very bad. When
I was surprised to see that it
has my initials on it."
"One of my favorite purses was one I
bought at an auction in the 1990s,"
Sue said. "This unique beaded purse
was made of beautiful blue carnival glass
beads with a jewel and enameled push button
Copper beaded purse and gloves
The Peacock and Gold Initialed purses
Some of the purses have hand-painted
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
or giving talks about them, she
individually wrapped and safely
storage. "The purses, both
metal mesh, cannot be hung for
of time," Sue explains.
of the beads and the metal can
damage to the purse itself. Its
causes its own undoing."
"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
gone." (exerpt from story by Dorene