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This pretty linen clutch purse has a big carved shell button on one side. There is no maker’s label in the bag, but it does have the National Recovery Act Ladies Hand Bag Code Authority label, which dates it to 1933-35.

What’s inside is a small time capsule: A mirror, hairpins, a blotting paper, 2 hat repair tickets, a milliner’s card, two store cards with furniture and drapery notes jotted on their backs, one flower shop receipt and a pretty extravagant bar tab. The dates are all 1940 and ’41.

(A dozen roses, cocktails… Have you ever liked a person just from the contents of her bag?)

Written by Maggie Wilds/denisebrain