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Location July 1947:

Columbia Jewelry Company
1 Camp Street
Cambridge, Mass.

Columbia Jewelry Company touted its line of bag frames in the July, 1947 issue of "Handbags Illustrated," page 54. Wartime materials restrictions had been removed and costume jewelry makers took the opportunity to branch out into another market.

10 East 49th Street
New York, NY
Founded in Paris in 1887 by Jacques Hobe, his son William brought the company to the US in 1915. Their exquisite design and technique applied to non-precious gems and metals made their jewelry elegant, but affordable by the middle class. Stage and screen stars worn and appeared in advertising for Hobe' jewelry. It was a natural extension of the business to jeweled bag frames, many of which are not signed.

This example carries the Hobe' and Bags by Josef marks. Each crystal is individually bezel set. In 2005, it achieved an auction price of $764 dollars, but failed to reach reserve and was not sold.

Hobe'Frames Gallery


Sold for $3500 in the auction November 2, 2000 Doyle New York. (Lot 1140)

This wartime example dates to 1942, after limitations were placed on the use of metal in luxury goods. The trim piece is marke Hobe'. In spite of an auction estimate of $400-600, this bag sold for $1400 in the auction November 2, 2000 Doyle New York. (Lot 1146)


Leonardi Manfacturing Co.

Bag frames made by specialist manufacturers were used by many handbag companies. Sometimes the only mark on a bag will be the frame maker's logo. So this information might be handy.

January 1954 Handbags & Accessories, page 78 illustrates a variety of shapes and styles available from Leonardi Manfacturing Co. of Weedspoet, NY:


Location February 1950:
Mardor Company
7 W. 22nd St.
N.Y. 10, N.Y.

Display ad "Handbags and Fashion Accessories" February 1950, page 112

''Handbag Frames Ornaments and Umbrella Handles
In The 1950 Manner
Beautiful Shell in NEWEST COLORS: Butterscotch, Tortoise. White. Pastels.

Frames with dainty contours and deep legs for inside openings. New shapes for boxes. Base or edge trims. Unusual locks and ornaments.''

Location June 1949:

Randolf-Rand Sales Co., Inc.
95 Madison Ave.
New York 16, N.Y.

Location October 1955:

Randolf-Rand Corp.
333 Fifth Ave.
New York

Quarter page ad "Handbag Buyer" June 1949, page 77

Small Randolph Rand ad "Handbags & Accessories" October 1955, page 54

Randolf Rand Handbags frames February 1961 Handbags & Accessories, page 44

Display ad June 1961 Handbags & Accessories, page 62

Casper Lowenstein display ad June 1942 Luggage & Leather Goods, page 51

The 1950s

This full page ad for Casper Lowenstein handbag frames featured and example of American Handbag's line in the February 1950 issue of "Handbags and Fashion Accessories," page 89.


CASPER LOWENSTEIN....your best source for better frames.
"'In our better handbags Casper Lowenstein frames guarantee us high quality as well as high fashion!" American Handbags, Inc. AmericanHandbagsAmericanModes
''American Handbags, Inc., one of the country's foremost manufacturers of better handbags, builds its newest American Modes creation with a Casper Lowenstein frame. "We have long depended on Casper Lowenstein for frames which emphasize quality as much as fashion appeal," says American Handbags, Inc.

There's no substitute for Casper Lowenstein quality. You see it in the uniform excellence of finish—in the fashion-right color—in the smooth-working locks—in all the little details which are the earmarks of fine workmanship.

In styling, too, Casper Lowenstein frames have no equal. Their refreshing originality constantly stimulates profit-building sales.

Join the nation's outstanding manufacturers of better handbags—build your bags with the best-made, best-selling frames of all—Casper Lowenstein frames!

Casper Lowenstein
Norwalk, Conn.
Sales Office: 347 Fifth Ave., N. Y. LExington 2-7575
division of Fedders-Quigan Corp.\\''

Pennsylvania Handbag Frames

Location August 1942:

Pennsylvania Handbag Frames Manufacturing Co.
810 Pennsylvania Ave.
Brooklyn. New York

Display ad August 1942 "Luggage & Leather Goods," page 53

Location June 1949:

Pennsylvania Handbag Frames
Showroom & Export Office
3 West 29th St.
New York City

245 Glenmore Ave.
Brooklyn 7, New York

Full page display ad page 64 "Handbag Buyer" June 1949

Display ad "Handbags and Fashion Accessories" February 1950, page 102.

your handbag styles call for Pennsylvania Frames!

Pioneers of FRAME MAKING
• Rails
• Push Ups
• Box
• Purse Frames
Dependable Service

Location June 1949:
Fedders-Quigan Corp.
Maker of Quigan Frames
Grand Ave & Rust St.
Maspeth, N.Y.

Full page ad with examples "Handbag Buyer" June 1949, page 88

""There's always something NEW in Quigan approach to style!" ''B. Philip Korn, handbag buyer, Melville Shoe Corp.

B. Philip Korn, prominent buyer for Handbag Division, Melville Shoe Corp., world's largest shoe chain, operating over 553 Thom McAn stores.

"Quigan sets the pace in styles that sell. Handbag buyers throughout the nation attribute rising sales in popular-priced handbags to Quigan style leadership.
"Quigan frames are keyed to fast-changing style trends," says B. Philip Korn, handbag buyer for Melville Shoe Corp. "That's why handbags built with Quigan frames always give us top volume sales."
Increase your handbag profits! Always ask: "Is it made with a Quigan frame?""

Full page ad February 1950 Handbags and Fashion Accessories, page 91

"The Quigan tag is making Sales History in our stores!" says Rose Zoloto, handbag buyer for 115 Frankiln Stores.

"Sell the bag with the Quigan tag!" That's the key to one of the greatest sales stories in the history of popular-priced handbags. It's the story of a consumer advertising campaign undertaken by the world's largest manufacturer of handbag frames. It's a story that's building new profits for bag manufacturers and retailers alike.

"Quigan's powerful advertising is making it easier for us to sell popular-priced handbags," says Rose Zoloto, handbag buyer for 115 Franklin Stores. "Our customers are confident of getting a well-made bag with up-to-the-minute styling when they buy the handbag with the Quigan tag!"

Let the new Quigan advertising program work for you. Alw'ays sell the bag with the Quigan tag!

February 1950 Handbags and Fashion Accessories, announced the acquistion of the J.E. Mergott Company by Fedders-Quigan on page 113 and again in a full page annouce,ment on page 116.

Fedders-Quigan Adds Mergott Co

The Fedders-Quigan Corp. has acquired the handbag frame business, plant and facilities of the J. E. Mergott Company of Newark. The plant is being operated as the J. E. Mergott division of Fedders-Quigan.


January 4, 1950


It is our pleasure to announce that we have acquired the handbag frame business, plant and facilities of the J. E. Mergott Co. which we will hereafter continue as our J. E. Mergott Division.

We wish to assure you that we will continue to produce the "Jemco" frames with the same standards of styling and quality for which they have been known over the years.

The facilities of the Fedders-Quigan organization will be placed behind our J. E. Mergott Division operation in order to insure a greater efficiency of service and delivery and continued expansion to meet your needs.

Mr. George Laubenstein, who is continuing with us as manager of our J. E. Mergott Division, will work in close cooperation with Mr. William Pierro, the general manager of our handbag frame divisions and Mr. Bruno Giordano, the general sales manager of these divisions.

For your convenience, we are retaining the Empire State Building offices.
We are looking forward to serving you.
Cordially yours,
Salvatore Giordano

Categories: Materials Hardware

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Page last modified on February 25, 2010, at 07:22 PM