Summary

Alternative Name(s): Bag, Purse

Reticule of crocheted or knotted fabric in zig-zag pattern. Believed to have been used by Annie Blakeley in Melbourne in the 1880s, and associated with the cape also donated by the family (HT 30272).

Annie Blakeley (nee Shacklock) was the second wife of saw manufacturer William Blakeley, whom she married in 1886. Like him, she had been born in England. As a young child she had gone to Texas with her family, but the Civil War caused significant disruption, and the family returned to England, and subsequently moved to Australia. Annie was as the same age as some of William's surviving children when they married, which caused problems in the family. William had a further eight children with Annie, of whom five survived to adulthood.

William Blakeley was the first saw manufacturer in Australia, with several businesses in inner Melbourne in the late 19th century. The family became very wealthy, and owned several residential properties, including houses in Hawthorn and Kew, and a farm at Red Hill. The 1890s depression hit hard, but William was just able to hold onto his business and it gradually recovered. He died in 1921, aged 82; Annie died in 1951, aged 91. The Blakeley business has continued into the 21st century in the hands of great-grandson William Blakeley.

Physical Description

Reticule of crocheted or knotted fabric. Black background with zig-zag pattern of off-white and purple. Opening has two silver metal bars, each terminating in a silver ball. A similar ball is attached to the lower end of the reticule. Each bar supports a silver chain which forms a pair of handles.

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