ARCHIVE - 1940s Anne-Marie of France Suede Novelty Telephone Bag

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A fine and rare 1940s Anne-Marie of France novelty handbag. Made from black kid leather and in the shape of a telephone, with the telephone receiver holder functioning as the lever clasp to open the bag. Inside is a black satin lined compartment with one internal pocket. The bag’s hardware is in brass which includes the telephone dial itself, edges of the ear and mouth receivers and the frame. Inscribed 'Anne-Marie, Paris, Ope. 44-39'.

In terms of condition, this is verging on excellent with some age appropriate wear. It has been in Circa's collection for many years. There is the slightest wear on the edges of the front of the bag. Light wear to the edges of the corners. The bottom of the bag’s leather is in quite remarkable condition and all other surface areas are excellent with no fading. There are no dents or inclusions save for a small nick on the telephone receiver around 3-4mm. The gold paint is rubbing off the rotary dials and the first three letters of Anne-Marie are faded. Slight parting of frame by hinge only when open - looks perfect shut. All very minor and could be restored if desired - we have left that to the new owner.

Anne-Marie's shop was on the ground floor of the Hôtel Meurice where she sold small luxury goods including gloves and perfume, to the Parisian elite. However, she is best known for the wonderfully detailed figural handbags that the hotel's VIP guests were often gifted during a stay. These novelty surrealist bags are well documented and other examples include a “piano bag” with keys, a “cocktail bar” bag with miniature spirit bottles, an "ice bucket" full of lucite ice cubes and an ice tong as well as a “Champagne bucket” with, well, you know what. Anne-Marie bags are owned by major fashion and historical museums worldwide including the New York Metropolitan Museum. These 1940s bags were designed as collectors items and are increasingly rare to market in display condition. This is one is for the fine vintage collector, creative director or curator as these original and whimsical bags have never been equalled.

Height without strap - 13.5 in (34.3 cm)
Height with strap - 7 in (17.8 cm)
Width - 6 in (15.2 cm)
Depth - 5 in (12.7 cm)


Will you set anything aside for me before I come?

We are happy to find anything you may be interested in from our website - please let us know a week in advance. 

We also have an extensive offline collection. If you let us know your size, style, favourite colour to wear and perhaps your budget, we can browse through our archive in advance of your appointment. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Clients may wish to bring modern shapewear when trying on garments from certain eras, especially the 1950s. Vintage clothing was often worn with undergarments that shaped the waist and as such is tailored for them.

We have a huge variety of slip dresses and petticoats to complete your look; many of which are also for sale.

You may also wish to bring your favourite footwear. We often find a classic pair of nude shoes work well when trying on, or a pair in gold or silver.

Do you have a price range?

Many of our lower-priced pieces (under £150) are not available to buy online. Our prices range from £80 - £600 for separates. Dresses start at around £150 and go up to £2,500 for the very best antique pieces and designer vintage. Our bridalwear ranges from £300 - £3,000.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes but please do let us know the size of your party in advance.

Where can I get alterations?

We offer some alterations in house. Should you need alterations we cannot provide, we can refer you to one of our tried and trusted tailors.

Do you have an after-care service?

We will advise you on the best way to clean and preserve your vintage pieces and can also recommend trusted local dry cleaners.

Can I cancel my appointment?

You are free to cancel but please do give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be invoiced a late cancellation fee of £25.

Where's the showroom?

Our address is Circa Vintage, 87A Lansdowne Way London SW8 2PB

Upon arrival, buzz the 87A button on the gate or call us 020 7736 5038 to let you in.

Do you have parking?

We offer free, secure, off-street parking but it is a tight squeeze – so do let us know in advance if you will be needing this and we can make sure that there is space available.

How do I get there by public transport?


Stockwell (7 min walk) - Northern and Victoria Lines

Nine Elms (9 min walk) – Northern Line


Wandsworth Road (13 min walk) – Westbound to Clapham Junction / Eastbound to Dalston Junction

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer, contactless, Paypal