A small, fold-over, black leather, clutch purse for a woman. Front flap opens to reveal a pocket compartment right by the clasp. The purse fans out to reveal 3 additional compartments; the middle compartment has a clasp, the other 2 do not. (The clasped compartment may have been used to carry coins.) Inside that coin section, there is another similar pouch, with its own rotating clasp. This pouch is smaller, as it fits within the original middle section of the purse. All of the clasps are made out of gold metal, and the inside is lined with a green fabric. When the purse is closed, there is a black leather strap visible on the back of the purse. This strap is presumed to have been used as a place for the woman to put her hand through, for an easier grip on the purse.
Purse was carried by Marina Metevilis' mother, Anna Palamidas. Palamidas was born and raised in Smyrna, Turkey.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, Smyrna, Turkey was an important financial and cultural center of the Greek world. Out of the 391 factories 322 belonged to local Greeks, while 3 out of the 9 banks were backed by Greek capital. Education was also dominated by the local Greek communities with 67 male and 4 female schools in total. The Ottomans continued to control the area, with the exception of the 1919–1922 period, when the city was assigned to Greece by the Treaty of Sèvres.
The most important Greek educational institution of the region was the Evangelical School that operated from 1733 to 1922. The Great Fire of Smyrna destroyed much of the city just after the conflict.
Pictures of the donor's family can be found in the accession file.
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Purse, 1900s, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/7891. Accessed 02/25/21.