Gate Top Purses!

I’ve recently become fascinated with purses and have been exploring various styles and method of construction.  Some of my favorites are the gate top cocktail bag.  The fastener is quite an amazing engineering feat.  Many of the vintage bags are made by Whiting and Davis–and best of all were made in the USA!!!

I got this particular one on eBay for $15.51 which is an excellent price considering that the fastener alone sells for $25-$50.   The silver mesh on the bag is actually metal.   It was listed as being made in the 1930’s and although overall looked good; it was somewhat tarnished in places.  So first it went for a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner with Dawn dishwashing detergent.  Then, I polished it with toothpaste.  Bear in mind that I am not a professional at restoration, so I don’t know for sure if this is how one is **supposed** to clean this type of vintage item but it gave me the result that I was after–a clean and shiny purse.

The purse fully open.

Closing the gate top.


Gate top closed.

The purse fully shut with the lid secureing the gate.

Look at the sparkles!  Remarkable being that this little bag is 70-80 years old.  There’s certainly something to be said for quality materials and workmanship.

The mesh is secured to the gate closing with small rings.  The design and construction is quite amazing!

Into the ultrasonic cleaner with Dawn.

After the bath–the water was a nasty gray and lots of the tarnish was removed.

Rinsing the purse.

I carefully dried the excess water with a towel, reaching up inside the purse into the lining.

There are still some stubborn area with tarnish here and there on the metal mesh.

I’m cleaning tarnish from the lid with toothpaste.  See all of the black?

I pulled the lining up and out so that it wasn’t against the metal mesh and left it like this to dry.

Working toothpaste into the heavily tarnished areas.  A paste type toothpaste works best but all that I had was this gel.  It did a fairly decent job.

The tag–Made in the USA.  :)  So nice to see a quality product made here.

The cleaned up lid.   The purse is now ready for its official photo shoot.  I adore this little purse and find the gate top purses to be fascinating!  Wouldn’t it be great to see them make a comeback?

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