The things they carried






Never able to pass up an interesting bag at a yard sale, we've accumulated kind of a lot, especially of the canvas/tote variety. Most are kept in the car (ostensibly) to make grocery shopping more fun, and to convince Linda that they're actually useful and we should probably keep buying them, unlike the giant leather gladstone bags she's put the kibosh on.

1. An old heavy canvas workhorse, stencilled "Dennet's Wood-Yard", used for hauling coal way back when, with convenient handles on the bottom for dumping everything out. Soon to be filled with wooden blocks.

2. L.L. Bean zippered duffles. At one time we had about 14 of these, my reasoning being that at some conceivable point years from now, it would be fun to send our conceivable son off on a hypothetical Boy Scout trip and outfit the whole Troop with old Bean duffles, but realistically when that day comes I'm sure he'd rather have a Transformers backpack, or whatever's popular, or at least a normal hands-free backpack (which we also have...), or, ideally, take one of these and and sew Lego: The Movie patches all over it.

3. An old Liddesdale (Scotland) Creel. This was at a stoop sale, and the woman who had it said "Oh I used to use that all the time back when everybody had those!" I didn't ask, but I assumed it was the late 70's Stephanie Powers/William Holden-early Banana Republic-Safari time.

4. Museum of Modern Art bag. Probably from the same time period as above. The leather band goes all the way around, and the stitching has come loose, so it acts interestingly like a canvas totebag in a leather sling.

5. The big bag is an old LL Bean boat-and-tote, watertight for filling with ice or bailing out your sinking ship. This one is from the 60's and stiffened in this shape from years of salt water interaction. In front of it is a neat compartmentalized tote, specifically for going out in risky weather. Like our unpictured collection of "Le Bag"s and old Channel 13 (Herb Lubalin) totes, we're fans of type on bags, and "raincoat" in Hot Dog font was too funny. Lastly a well-worn denim and leather bag made in 1960's Massachusetts.

6. Tracey Emin's "This Way Mice" (there's a cat on the other side) tote bag from the 2007 Venice Biennial, thoughtfully brought back by our friend Fidi.

Finally, a nice article by Zachary Sachs about Dmitri Siegel's enlightening article on Design Observer about the proliferation of canvas tote bags. Here.

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andrew said...

that black navy tote is somethin' special

Sean Mewshaw said...

you take some poetically lovely photos, sir. make me weep with a canvas bag, you do.

ita darling. said...

definitely one of my favorite topics of conversation is canvas bagging...

i too have the same collection of llbean duffels (though not quite as robust)

I just added a new one to my collection with an indian warrior profile and crossed cannons and the year 1854 screenprinted. and handwritten on the back is the name Alex Dvorsky. Grand aint it?

So... will yall be my friend?


NorthStar Vintage said...

my favorite canvas tote belongs to my friend kitty. it's classic ll bean two tone canvas, which she had monogrammed with the word, "whore." we call it her "dirty whore bag."