A Handbag From Ancient Times
by ABARA SG on Nov 02, 2022
Dear Patient Reader,
Handbags really have existed for a long time — how else would you carry a bunch of objects around than to wrap them in animal hide and sling the whole thing over your arm, shoulder or waist? The objective of any handbag is to keep your hands free – to build a fire, say, or to grasp your phone.
The oldest leather handbag, as a matter of fact, can be dated as far back as 5000 B.C. Excavators found the first dated evidence of a bag with the discovery of Otzi the Iceman, Europe’s oldest natural mummy in 1991. Otzi was found frozen alongside a leather pouch which stored small weapons, an axe and fur and leather garments.
Archaeologists may have discovered the world's next oldest purse in Germany— excavators at a site near Leipzig have uncovered more than a hundred dog teeth arranged close together in a grave dated to between 2,500 and 2,200 B.C.
The teeth were likely decorations for the outer flap of a handbag – Stone Age studs if you will. The dog teeth decoration is all that remains as over the years, the leather or fabric having disappeared. The dog teeth are arranged all pointing in the same direction, so it looks a lot like a modern handbag flap.
Then closer (not much!) to our times, a handbag of brass, inlaid with gold and silver has been identified as one of the earliest surviving examples of a woman’s purse. The elaborate handbag was made in Mosul, Iraq, around 1,300 A.D. Previously thought to be a work basket, document wallet, or even a saddlebag, it is now understood to be a woman's handbag.
All handbags descend from these two handbags, if not materially, then certainly in spirit. Here at ABARA, every handbag is designed as a statement of a woman’s individuality, authenticity and style. They are personal accessories that express the wearer’s personality, point of view, and lifestyle. ABARA’s focus is on designs that are timeless classics, tools to help you meet life’s challenges with a sharp sense of style.
ABARA creations are designs that express the nuances of who you truly are. We believe that our bespoke features and details will conjure your dream bag in the perfect proportions, colour, texture and hardware that express your authentic spirit.