How can a girl go wrong with a beautiful purse? If you know the story of Judith Leiber purses, you know that they are quality items, that are visually amazing. Most widely known for evening bags, creations take the form of animals (lions, dogs, etc.), objects (books, shells, fortune cookies, etc.), and beautifully design shapes.
These purses are really collectors items and can go for large sums of money on the antiques and collectibles market. But, for us cheap girls, there is always a garage sale or online auction to look for deals.
My collection is very small. It currently consists of eight purses. Six are the type of purses we think of when we think Judith Leiber: jeweled, small, metal and for evening. Two are larger and more for day wear. They were probably from the 80s or 90s and both are in pristine condition. I have a lovely red leather embroidered bag as well as a classic black snake skin design.
The red bag has a gold chain detail. It is beautifully designed with tone on tone stitching of a paisley design. The black bag is trimmed in a silver and gold tone frame that has a black semi-precious stone accent, with an optional black snake skin shoulder length strap.
I carry the larger bags for times when I need lots of stuff (more than just a lipstick and $100 bill), but don’t want a plain bag; like going to the opera, out to dinner at an upscale restaurant, or maybe a more dressy work dinner.
The real show stoppers are Judith Leiber’s metal bags covered in Swarovski crystals. They come in so many shapes and sizes. Mine are all so tiny that it is tough to get much in them. My phone doesn’t fit. A small lipstick is about all I can manage.
Most of JL’s bags come with a matching coin purse, comb, mirror, and dust bag. If you are buying used, you may or may not aquire these at the time you buy the purse. They usually coordinate with the purse (gold tones for gold purses and silver for silver purses). The coin purses may be lined in a color that matches the purse, like the navy fabric in the silver coin purse above, or, I have seen a few that were made of a coordinating fabric, such as red satin.
When I start collecting something specific, such as these purses, I like to buy a book or two that details the history or story behind the item. I purchased the book above that gives many beautiful examples of Judith Leiber purses through the years.
Not only did Mrs. Leiber design and manufacture purses, but her company has also made belts, glasses, shoes, and perfume. Looking on eBay, you may even find earrings, necklaces, paperweights or jeweled mirrors.
Mrs. Leiber sold her company in 1993 and it, Leiber Group, is now owned by Pegasus Apparel Group. Although Mrs. Leiber retired in 1998, her company still produces purses based on her original designs. They will live on as well-heeled ladies continue to carry these little bags to society events all over the world. Oh, and one country girl who likes nice things!
Some of my bags are pristine, but a couple are in need of some repair work. But, I am not in a hurry. They adorn my purse credenza as beautifully as if they were perfect.
I hope you enjoyed my small collection of Judith Leiber purses. I certainly enjoy carrying them!