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Vintage Wilardy Handbags

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Wilardy handbag

Location 1955: Showroom: Wilardy Originals
A Division of Handbag Specialities
6 West 32nd St.
New York City
LA 4-9764
Office & Factory:
117-36th St.
Union City, NJ
UN 6-4297

The Wilardy trademark was first used in 1948. The name was revived in 1967 and renewed in 1976 by a Chicago company, making Lucite bath accessories.

Wilardy Handbags were marked either with a paper label or embossed lettering on the inside hinge surface. The US Pat. Pend on this example dates this bag before 1954.


wilardy mark

Before 1954, Jewelry, handbags and other fashion items were protected by US Patent. The process of documenting and filing the paperwork for every item was cumbersome and expensive. The simpler copyright process was reserved for art, books and films.

Leo Krussman of Trifari in New York was the first to file for copyright protection for costume jewelry design. After a favorable Supreme Court ruling, it became common practice for makers of fashion items to protect their designs with copyright, not patent. So, as a rule of thumb, items marked "Pat. Pend.", "Pat. Applied for", or "US PATENTED" can safely be dated pre-1954.

The January 1955 Handbags & Accessories includes this ad for a Wilardy Rhinestone Clutch, featured in the Ida Lupino film "Private Hell 36." Ida Lupino shares writing credit with her ex-husband Collier Young and she starred in this hard edged late film noir offering. Buy Private Hell 36 at Amazon.com


wilardy advert

This black Lucite clutch ringed with rhinestones sold online in 2005 for $413 after a bidding war among 15 bidders! The bag measures 7 1/4 x 4 3/4".
wilardy advert

The white version of this clutch also sold in 2005 for $176 after interest by 16 bidders.
wilardy advert

The March 1955 issue of Handbags & Accessories carried a fabulous view of the plastics that were such an innovative addition to bag design. As you might expect, Wilardy had several examples featured. See the article at 1955 Plastics
wilardy advert

A tambourine bag! I never knew that's what it was! Anyway, its a rare bag from 1955 and highly prized by collectors. Fifteen bidder battled for one example measuring a petite Black Lucite 6 inch in diameter. It auctioned for $1,126 in 1999. The same bag in clear Lucite sold for $300 in 2005.


wilardy advert

wilardy advert


If you look carefully, this display window is full of Wilardy bags ca. 1955! The unusually shaped bag on the far left was a design award winner for Will Hardy in 1954. More comment on the 1955 line on page 44

wilardy advert

wilardy advert

wilardy advert

Wilardy clear lucite Stardust Bag with embedded rose-beige tulle netting, sparked with dashes of star-like glitz. Embossed signature in the inside hinge. Strip latch slides over tiny metal peg to close. Double hinged strap handles. Excellent condition. Measures 7 3/8 x 4 x 3 1/2 inches.

Full credit and courtesy to Bag Lady Emporium - Thank You.

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