Conservation Project: Costume Accessories, Handbags

Mounts for handbags are designed as handling boards (“pallets”) that can either stand alone as mounts or work as lifting boards within boxes. Custom boxes protect the edges of handbags, and should any beadwork, fragments, or ribbon become separated, all loose parts will remain with the handbag, contained in the box.

Inserts of fabric-covered padding or soft tissue paper are used inside handbags when necessary. These inserts allow the objects to be stored in a position that maintains their shape and helps support fragile parts. Where embroidered or beaded bags had previously rested compressed or folded in a drawer, the new storage mounts hold them in a more open position, increasing visual accessibility and minimizing the need for handling.

See photos of handbags in their custom mounts.