Monday, April 25, 2016

Pick Into the New Book: "Bags & Purses: The Story of Chic and Practicality" by Ida Tomshinsky

The modern woman goes out of her home and carries a handbag. The purses and handbags are essential fashion accessories; a little home for storing private attributes. Purses and handbags are these fashion items that people do not ware, but carry on a daily base. Look around, today women cannot live without their purses, weather carried for utility or as a status symbol, representing chic and practicality.

The term “purse” is used in reference to a small bag for holding coins. In British English language, it is still used to refer to a small-size coin bag. For example, the expressions such as control the purse strings” or “hold the purse strings” are common remarks to point out who is in charge of the money in the business and in the household.

A “handbag” is a larger fashion accessory that holds items beyond currency, such as items of personal belongings and emergency items to survive on. As usual, in United States and Canada, people use both terms “purse” and “handbag” interchangeably. The term “pouch” comes from Medieval Latin and associates with words: “skin” and “hide.” The term “handbag” began to appear in written documents around the early 1900s.

Since both men and women have something precious to carry around with them, handbags have been indispensable to the history of fashion and to the history of fashion accessories, specifically. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics display people with pouches carried around the waist, perhaps for the safety reasons. The ancient Greek’s and ancient Roman’s art objects exhibit men and women with small pouches in which they carried coins. The pouches were attached to the belt at the waist area and were called byrasa in Greece and bursa in Rome.

We always search for confirmations in the bible’s text. The bible specifically identifies Judas Iscariot as a purse carrier.

The earliest handbags that have been verified historically were small sacks carried by gentlemen containing pomanders [scented spices and oranges], flint and money. They were called ‘pockets’ and were hung by thongs from the back of the girdle. Pockets were often cut and stolen from behind by thieves and were soon nicknamed as ‘cut purse.’

Peasants in early rural societies used small bags to keep and transport seeds, religion items, and medicine. During the days of King Arthur, the legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries; and according to the medieval histories and romances, the housewives carried the various daily life’s necessities with them in bag or in a pouch. In this time in history, the bag was more as an item of a practical enterprise, and was not an item of vivid fun and chic fashion accessory. The woman needed supplies to accompany her in constant daily journeys without running back to the cottage for medicine or religious artifacts.

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