BRAND: Very rare, museum quality, one-of-a-kind custom piece; unsigned. The craftsmanship appears to be of French school/origin.
TYPE: Rare Douplet Clutch. Essentially, it incorporates two different handbags in one - with different flaps, tab closures (with snaps) and two interiors -- and each can be used independently from each other.
CIRCA: late 1940s - early 1950s
SKIN: Alligator in luxurious, gemstone ruby-red color (natural color variations). Amazing quality, very supple and bright, to-die-for. Please note that the color in person could look slightly different due to flash.
METAL: No metal parts.
INTERIOR: Genuine leather (neatly organized, with multiple slip pockets)
CONDITION: Rare vintage near mint (only very minor signs of age). Amazing, supple skins. Immaculate in and out. Hard to believe it's over 60 years old.
STYLIST'S TIP: As a collector, I'd be tempted to never use it, just to display, to preserve its fabulous condition. But its really a crime to keep such a beauty locked up. If I had to wear it for a formal event, I'd mix it with a little dress in classic black, or crisp white. Or, for an important business meeting, I'd pair it with a business suit in dove gray or warm beige. For a night out, I'd make her the center of attention accompanied by bold prints, or color-blocking.
HISTORY: The Douplet style was introduced in the late1940s and was sold for a very short period of time until 1950s. Usually, douplets were made as frame satchels, with top handles. For over a decade of collecting, I've never seen douplets in a clutch style. After WWII, upscale department stores (Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus) provided specialized, made-per-order services for their elegant clientele. Most likely, this gem was one of those astronomically expensive, custom-made, one-of-a-kind creations by a French craftsman, considering its amazing details. If you're looking for an important collectible, don't miss out.
BOOK: Read about collectible vintage alligator and crocodile handbags from the 1940s-1950s in our fashion encyclopedia "Exotic Skin Handbags: Alligator & Crocodile" by Victoria Stowe. You're welcome to purchase an autographed copy of the book from our Malleries boutique.