Catalina Timewalkers Questers Held Special Event

Andrea Holland

Wendy Dager, the highly acclaimed freelance writer, award-winning author, expert researcher, and curator of the Vintage Purse Museum, was the guest speaker at the November meeting of the Catalina Timewalkers Questers. The Vintage Purse Museum is an online gallery that consists of an incredible collection of 2,000 handbags and fashion accessories amassed over three decades. Many of the items are from the mid-century modern era, and others are much older. For her presentation, Ms. Dager brought a variety of selections in her mobile unit, affectionately known as “Handbags on the Highway,” to the SaddleBrooke TWO Country Club’s Sonoran Room.

Ms. Dager, whose mission is to educate, entertain, and preserve handbag history, captivated her audience with amusing stories related to her purses and their origins. Members and guests were dazzled when Ms. Dager presented the Queen of the West, Dale Evans’ purse of pure suede tooled leather in the shape of a stirrup saddlebag from the 1950s and accented with her classic butterfly signature tag! There were many other famous, portable works of art from Ms. Dager’s collection, including renowned artist Patricia Smith’s Moon Bags and bags featuring intricate needlepoint, exquisite beading, and lovely embellished designs from all over the world.

Also included in the presentation were handbags in unusual shapes and sizes, such as baskets, animals, movable faces, and those composed of unique textures and fabrics, including the 1940s popularity of bags made with a plastic compound known as Plasticflex, which resembled Lego-like tiles or buttons. Ms. Dager showcased all her bags, which were arranged by decades from the 1930s to the 1970s, for our perusal. Each item in the display included cards with interesting information and corresponding newspaper and magazine ads to enhance our learning experience.

Andrea Holland, vice president of the Catalina Timewalkers, was the hostess for the program, along with her co-hostess, Raina Saffan. Following the program, members and guests received complimentary favors of mini purses with lavender pillow sachets tucked inside. Members and guests enjoyed refreshments of brownies, lemon bars, and coffee drinks and President Harriet Shemer also treated everyone to her happy Hanukkah homemade latkes. Concluding the program, there were a few lucky guests who received door prizes from Ms. Dager, such as a gorgeous, handmade, purse-shaped stained glass sun catcher!

The purpose of Questers is to stimulate the appreciation of antiques and collectibles and to encourage, through study and support, the preservation and restoration of historic artifacts and landmarks. The Catalina Timewalkers welcome new members into their chapter. We meet on the third Friday from October through May. Exceptions are December and May, when we meet on the second Friday of the month. Call Sandi Newberry at 520-818-0199 if you are interested in attending a meeting or would like more information.