A Gorgeous Edwardian Crocodile Skin & Silk Lined Gladstone Handbag


Origin: English
Period: Edwardian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Height: 5 inches
Depth: 5 inches
Length: 9.5 inches

Beautifully proportioned, the fine quality crocodile skin Gladstone, having brass locks and end fittings, with a moiré silk interior and inner purse pocket with clasp.

Aside from a small tear to the handle, wear to the piping and some looseness to one end of the brass fittings the bag is in good condition, the crocodile skin beautifully worn softer, consummate with its age. The interior is hinged at both sides to keep it open to a rectangular shape when open.

A century ago the use of crocodile skin was omnipresent in the use of luxury and vintage luggage, suggesting exoticism. Species usable leather included the Common Crocodile, the Nile Crocodile, the Indian and Marsh Crocodile, and also some species of alligator. The Gladstone Bag is named after the British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, and is often mistaken for the doctor's bag.

This lovely miniature bag would have belonged to a rather well-to-do Edwardian lady where luxurious luggage and accessories were simply essential for those who moved in high circles.