ALWAYS A WELCOME DISCOVERY – CLASSIC MID-CENTURY TOOLED LEATHER BELT

IMG_3978

I’m including a little close-up photo here of the essential features of these wonderful hand-made belts from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s.  The best were made by artisans in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico but many home-leatherworkers became quite good at the craft and could rival them, or almost.

Handbags, purses, wallets and belts were the most common items made but once I saw a full set of luggage at an auction.  Almost got it.

The features that distinguish these pieces from newer and less worthy ones are primarily three:  1.  high quality leather  2.  deep carefully-done tooling in traditional designs, with nice finishing and  3.  an adjustable snap-on/off at the buckle end and high quality silver or silver-plate buckle.

Rare enough to be worth pouncing on whenever seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Advertisements

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – A 1950’S – 1960’S CUSTOM-TAILORED DRESSY FROCK

I’m so thrilled to have discovered this one!  It’s very well-made and has a nice wiggle shape, without being too tight.  The all-over soft gold embroidery is just the right festive touch for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, or, or, or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ll have to think about whether to add a pretty belt and what jewelry to include.  Time to get out the gold!

Nothing could be more classic and beautiful, but wait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ANOTHER RECENT FIND – FANTASTIC LATE 1930’S – WARTIME 1940’S MUSKRAT FUR CAPE

IMG_3968

It’s not as fine as a couple others I have, but just as wonderful with the big shoulders, pockets, arm slits and silky lining.  Very good condition, too – just a little wear to the fur along the seams here and there.  I’ll be able to wear it more casually than I would my others.

Some woman who didn’t have the money then for a more expensive fur enjoyed the glamour of that time in spite of the Depression and looming war.  By a furrier in Winnipeg, the animals whose pelts were taken would have been trapped in the midst of Canada’s woodland and prairie country and might have represented the livelihood of some rural family.  As much as I reject the modern fur trade, the hardships of those times were real.

As it is, I can enjoy this antique piece, too, and wear it until it’s done.  Today, faux fur pieces have become so sophisticated and beautifully-made that there’s no reason to support the fur trade.  Cherish the old furs for their bygone charisma and say good-bye forever to animal cruelty.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

GORGEOUS CUSTOM-MADE POST-WAR FORMAL GOWN IN SUMPTUOUS BLACK RAYON VELVET

Although very similar, I might place this dress as having been made a little earlier than the one shown yesterday – looks late 1940’s to me.  It might or might not have been worn with a crinoline underneath.  Like the other, it’s completely hand-made and this one has the tailor’s label sewn into the neckline.

One of the best things about this gown is the fabric – a plush, heavy velvet that feels like old rayon.  Love the sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves that, to my taste, are done a bit more artfully than those on yesterday’s dress.  I think it’s mostly a style change that took place over a couple of years around the turn of the ’40’s to ’50’s decade.

Anyway, who wouldn’t love it!  I so wonder what events these dresses were made for and where they went.  That part of the mystery is as yet unsolved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST OF TWO FABULOUS MID-CENTURY FINDS – NEW LOOK CUSTOM-TAILORED BALL GOWN

This gown is hand-tailored with extreme attention to detail.  It would be worn with a crinoline for a full, bell-shape.  Because of the styling, I would guess that it was made in the early 1950’s but, possibly, as early as the late 1940’s.  A special occasion dress, of course, and there’s hardly any evidence of wear.  Maybe it was even made for a Prom or Homecoming dance back in the day.

Women were so happy to dress in longer skirts, sumptuous fabrics and new styles after the austerity of the war years.

I’ll be showing a sister gown tomorrow – very similar style and probably made a few years earlier.  What fabulous discoveries!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ANOTHER TRUE VINTAGE MEN’S ITEM: CLASSIC TAILORED 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S COTTON BATH ROBE

IMG_3962

With all the features of a fine men’s at-home lounge-wear garment, this robe may have been a bespoke item, though probably ordered through the menswear department of a large store.  Alas, the original belt has gone missing but – amazing surprise – I have material that is a great match to make a replacement!  It’s such a project to find matching/coordinating colors and fabric types for a job like this that I’m really fortunate in this case.

Another rare find that just caused me to jump for joy when I discovered it . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

PRETTY COTTON PATIO DRESS IN RED, WHITE & BLUE PRAIRIE STYLE

This dress is pristine – a beautiful example of a custom-tailored frock from the 1960’s or 1970’s.  The fabric is quilting-type cotton with small floral detail.  Very patriotic, too, if you’re into that.

Prairie style was huge during the 1965 – 1975 decade and I suspect that was when this dress was made.  However, it’s almost like new with very little evidence of wear.  Perhaps it was made for a special occasion.  Because of the style – a bit prissy for my taste – it might not have been worn regularly.  Long sleeves limit the summer usefulness but are a great plus for Fall.  All things considered, I’m thrilled to find a frock in such perfect condition!

Unraveling the clues is always the icing on the cake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM