Purses may not fit some people’s idea of a décor
item but this one is so eye-catching and iconic it
could easily be displayed as an art object. This
purse was made by a company named “Betsy B
of Florida” which was owned by a creative lady
named Elizabeth Beemer in Fort Myers, Florida,
who was also the company designer. During
the 1960’s and 1970’s, her company turned out
resort wear and accessories for women. Mrs.
Beemer passed away at the age of 89 in 2012.
This handcrafted purse has a woven body, made
of very thin strips of painted and varnished wood.
The trim and swing handle are faux leather, as is
the latch which attaches with Velcro. The lining is
a thick beige linen; there is a small mirror on the
inside lid and the bottom is covered in green felt
with four brass tack feet, one of which has been
replaced. Although it has lost its foil label, there
is no doubt that this purse was made by Betsy B.
The real focal point is, of course, the beautiful lid.
A pair of Carolina chickadees perched on leafy
branches are decoupaged onto the lid; the birds
were raised up and given a three-dimensional
effect. The lid was then varnished or lacquered
to protect it and give it a lovely gleaming finish.
This purse has been used; there are some marks
on the body, trim and lid edge and the liner has
ink and dirt marks. The lid, fortunately, is in