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Chic and practical, the art of the purse

75 min visit

11 Conti Museum
17 May → 3 Nov 2019
From Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Monday.

« Fabulous ! Wonderful objects. French and European know-how honored. »

Small change, penny, hardware, wheat, scrap metal, pocketware. For ages, money has been given every possible name for it. However, it was the object of all the attention of the greatest creators - leather craftsmen, goldsmiths, jewellers, table makers, dressmakers, metalworkers, etc., to imagine and create the most chic purses, in order to store and transport it. As the creator of the sounding and stumbling currency, the 11 Conti - Monnaie de Paris naturally finds it appropriate to take an interest in this chic and useful "showcase". Variety of shapes, materials and uses, preciousness of these everyday original exhibition on the history and art of the wallet from Antiquity to the present day. Everyday objects and indices of social status, purses, wallets, louis, and purses evoke worldly life over the centuries and more particularly the 19th century and an illustration of "Parisian chic". There are all kinds of them, standardised or ultra-personalised. Surprisingly, this is the first time that an exhibition has been dedicated to this everyday object. It was time, in our opinion, in a contemporary society and the growing digitalization that has irrevocably programmed the disappearance of physical money and by extension wallets and card holders. However, the aesthetic quality of these objects deserves attention beyond their usefulness. The collection compiled by Henri Joannis-Deberne is unpublished, it covers the period 1830-1930. It will be completed by the borrowing of wallets from French museums, and major leather goods and jewellery houses, for the 20th century, a period when wallets, like handbags, became a fashion accessory for the major contemporary brands. More than 200 varied pieces will be exhibited, made of various materials (tortoiseshell, wood, ivory, mother-of-pearl, fabric, metal, shell, leather, etc.) and from various sources (France, Austria, England, Italy, Russia, etc.).


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