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Vintage Jewellery for the Modern girl. Feminine but edgy with a hint of rock n roll pedigree. These pieces are handpicked from all over the world from Havana~Naples~Morocco~Paris. All the Suzie Wheat pieces come with a spellbinding story & originally owned & loved by the most daringly different, Indedpendent,creative,charismatic girls of their time.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

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Curating vintage and antique items are a big part of what I do and it’s mainly my favorite part. I love to research and do a little detective work to discover the story behind these items, and this can take you off in all angles.  As a child, I was never without a good old adventure book, and I still love a story about the previous owner. What she may have looked like, where she traveled, was she daring? Did she have a thrill for adventure?
I found this rare 1930s Art Deco Shanghai silk brocade wedding bag with heavy silk gold and cream textiles. The ornate heavy brocade is similar to the type used for traditional oriental wedding dresses. The wedding bag also boasts an ornate carved Bakelite celluloid frame with silk cord handles. The bag  came with an original lipstick pouch and mirror. When taking these out, I discovered the retail label JEAN LINDSAY, 22 Nanking Road, Shanghai. And so the research began.

Shanghai – Paris of the East

In the 1920s, Shanghai was considered to be the Paris of the East, a cosmopolitan exotic melting pot of cultures from far and wide. A land of rickshaws and Mah-jongs. In the Art Deco era of the 1920s, Shanghai was split into three parts: the International community, the Chinese City and the French concession. Shanghai also received tens of thousands of fleeing Russians after the Bolshevik Revolution. This saw Shanghai become Asia’s most cosmopolitan city. Nanking Road was one of the most famous and popular districts in the area and it teamed with Russians, French and English – all enjoying the delights, heat and smell of the tea-houses, coffeehouses and cinemas.

Nanking Road

Nanking Road was compared to the best retail shops on Oxford Street, Fifth Avenue and the Rue de la Paix with the architecture a mix of old Chinese and Western styles with inspiration taken from the Parthenon in Athens. The old Shanghai Bank featured a clock tower which resembled London’s Big Ben and fabulous Art Deco buildings added to the charm of what must have been a fabulous and exciting place to be. All of the biggest and most opulent retail stores were located on the Nanking Road, including the JEAN LINDSAY Department store. Not much remains from that era in Shanghai’s tumultuous history, but the famous Bund (waterfront), Nanking Road, Astor House and the Russian Consulate building are still there.

This luxurious bag evokes the cosmopolitan atmosphere of elegant Shanghai with a fascinating history from the tumultuous history of this beautiful place. I loved discovering old Shanghai and picturing the bag’s previous owner, who lived in Shanghai during the 1920-1930s with her husband who had business interests in Shanghai during this period. I can’t wait for this rare purse bag to find a new owner, and in doing so, continue the story.

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