1930s Cream and Gunmetal Mirco Beaded Art Deco Bag with Gentleman's Calling Card
There is nothing better than finding things in old bags and purses! This beautiful late 1920s, early 1930s beaded bag was holding a wonderful secret; an original gentleman's calling card! The sleuth in the HV family did some research on Francis J. Popham and found out the following:
Francis James Popham was born in Cornwall in 1871, joined the London Yeomanry in the early 1900's, and retired in 1912 as a Lieutenant. On the outbreak of WW1 he joined the Royal Fusiliers, and later the Royal Lancaster Regiment. He served in France, and in August 1918 aged 48, he was given command of a regiment that was involved in the battle of Rennecourt. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and retired from the Army in 1921.
Popham had been a stockbroker and Director of Trust, and would travel to Canada and America, giving the Carlton Club as his address on ship passenger lists. He is seen on a list going to Canada on the 25th August 1934 aged 63. The Carlton Club was a gentleman's club on pall Mall, described as the oldest and most important of all Conservative Cubs'. On the 14th October 1940, the club took a direct hit in the Blitz and was destroyed.
in the 1939 register, it states Popham moved to Paddington and appears he never married. There is also no precise date listed of his death. This means that the card is dated at the latest 1939. I would be led to believe that due to the inscription 'All The Best' this was given as a gift, rather than in courtship.
Regardless of the amazing history behind the piece, it is a beautiful example of art deco beading, and is in such wonderful condition so must have been cherished by the owner and handed down in the family.
• Includes original calling card that was found in the purse that reads 'All the Best'. Included also is the shipping manifest and the history that has been found on Lt. Col. Francis J. Popham
• Paisley floral design in cream, ivory, white, gunmetal, bronze micro beads. Impeccably finished.
• Edge of flap has a metallic braid thread to finish the edge of the fabric
• Pointed flap to close, lined in silk
• Brass frame to the top
• Fastens with a small popper on the inside of the flap
• One main pocket, with a small slip pocket
• Lined in oyster cream silk
• There is the smallest amount of colour change on the beads under the flap. There is a little foxing and staining to the inside of the flap, and the interior of the bag has minor dirt. There appears to be no bead loss. All shown in photos.
Length: 17cm at widest point, 14cm at top
Please get in touch if you have any questions.