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Essential Accessories: Handbags and Heels at The Lightbox, Woking

PUBLISHED: 13:10 04 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:30 20 February 2013

Essential Accessories: Handbags and Heels at The Lightbox, Woking

Essential Accessories: Handbags and Heels at The Lightbox, Woking

For the first time in the UK, a new exhibition in Woking will bring together items from the world's biggest collection of handbags with the largest collection of shoe heritage.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2011


For the first time in the UK, a new exhibition in Woking will bring together items from the worlds biggest collection of handbags with the largest collection of shoe heritage.


Running at The Lightbox, Essential Accessories: Handbags and Heels sees loans from the Museum of Handbags and Purses in Amsterdam matched with key objects from the Shoe Collection at Northampton to offer a unique insight into the evolution of these most essential of accessories.


Together, the bags and shoes on display will not only be a wonderful feast for the eye, but will also allow the visitor to track social changes through history, says Marilyn Scott, director of The Lightbox.


The exhibition will feature over 120 bags and 40 pairs of shoes with highlights including an 1820s French handbag made of papier-mch with cut steel frame, reflecting new design opportunities created by the Industrial Revolution; a 1939 enamelled minaudire with jewelled clasp created in response to the surge in popularity of cosmetics that took place after the


First World War; and a pair of womens latchet shoes decorated with Portuguese bullion lace (right), that proved so popular the import of lace was prohibited in 1711.


In addition, Surrey Life has also teamed up with The Lightbox to host a special celebrity section of the exhibition that will include shoes and bags donated by Strictly star Camilla Sacre-Dallerup, Loose Womens Andrea McLean and Born Free founder Virginia McKenna, among others, which will be auctioned off for charity.



  • Essential Accessories: Handbags and Heels runs at The Lightbox, Woking until Sunday July 17. To find out more, visit www.thelightbox.org.uk.

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