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Vintage Sparkle

A dedicated “picker” finds happiness when surrounded by shiny little bags

By Manning Lee

Susanne Bradley artistically displays her beloved Whiting and Davis evening bags in her booth at Foxwell’s Antiques in Easton

When did you start collecting?

My mother was a collector. When I was a child, she dragged me along with her on her hunts wherever she went in barns or antique stores. I didn’t like going, but her blood courses through my veins. She would be happy knowing I’d followed in her footsteps.

What made you start your collection?

When she passed away, we found all her things packed up and registered in books and she’d left me a note. The books cataloged what she had, where she got it, and how much she had paid for it. I didn’t even know about the handwritten note until my son told me.

What was THE first in your collection?

A Whiting and Davis bag that goes around your waist like a belt bag.

What is your favorite BAG?

I think my favorite would be the Whiting and Davis rosary bag. I was traveling down south and had gone to an estate sale. This estate sale was a member of the Reynolds Tobacco Company. I found the vintage bag that is the size of a little pocket with the rosary beads inside. I was so excited.

Are you still collecting?

I always look for new pieces, but I also enjoy collecting other treasures like Red McCormick Teapots and antique crates.

HOW DO YOU ADD TO your collection?

Some of my friends in the antique business and I all have this same sickness. We are always on the hunt for antiques. Once a month, we go on a pick. We set a two-hour perimeter from our home and map out where we want to shop. We take turns in plotting out our map, the stores where we want to visit, and where we want to eat lunch. We’ve been doing it since 2015.

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