Unlike the rage of today where purses are huge, well at least mine are, and I seem to carry everything I need for a weeks survival, I stumbled or re-stumbled upon this little gem this morning as I was hiding artefacts away in Adelaide’s closet, preparing for filming this week.

This lovely Art Deco dance purse. The idea for the dance purse is that it hangs from a chain attached to your wrist avoiding cumbersome purses that would detract from your dress (as dresses became tiny in the 1920s) and would be easy to locate when needed. This hammered sterling piece, with gold and rose gold linear decoration is 2 3/4″ in height and 3″ in width at the bottom. The mesh silver wrist chain, also sterling, measures 5″ in length.                  

The interior of the purse shows the compact mirror, the coin dispensers for nickels and dimes for tipping, and the small clip for holding your mad money in place, or if preferred, your prepared powder puff, for the evening.  In an era where makeup application and powdered noses were en-vogue, this was a must have piece among any woman’s accessories.


Our compact dance purse comes from Ryrie Birks. A jewellery company located throughout Canada, but with main offices/stores in Toronto.  This tiny artefact resides in Adelaide McLaughlin’s walk-in closet and is rarely displayed.