As everyone in Kensington knows, Antique Row is one of the community’s points of pride. Howard Avenue and its side streets are lined with shops specializing in antique furniture, rugs, vintage toys, used books and more. This large presence in the community sparked our feature, Antique of the Week, where we will showcase a different item or curiosity each week to bring attention to pieces from the past.
This week, we’re featuring a vintage Lucille de Paris bag available at the Hope Chest. Kate Taylor-Fine, the store's proprietor, said she's excited about the new merchandise she has added to her linen collection at her new location, next door to her former address.
This Lucille de Paris bag is made of alligator and is in excellent condition. Taylor-Fine said she made bags for Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue during the '50s and '60s. This bag still has the Saks Fifth Avenue label inside and the Lucille de Paris logo.
Lucille de Paris bags were created by Charles Hahn and his wife, Lucille. They founded the company in Paris during the 1930s and moved to New York City during the mid-1940s. They advertised in the The New York Times that they made their bags from American Alligators, and they even had the Alligator symbol as part of their logo.
They sold their bags at high-end stores. Princess Margaret was known to purchase a Lucille de Paris bag at Saks Fifth Avenue. The company was very successful until 1969, when the use of alligator skins was banned, thereby forcing the end of production.
This vintage Lucille de Paris bag is a testament to their high-quality craftsmanship. It is currently on sale for $895 at the Hope Chest. There are many more accessories and merchandise at the newly expanded Hope Chest. Be sure to stop by to find your own treasure. The address and the phone numbers are the same: 3730 Howard Avenue and 301-933-7676.