VINTAGE EXOTIC SKIN HANDBAGS Alligator & Crocodile by Victoria Stowe

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Copyright 1999-2014 Victoria Stowe. All rights reserved.

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Several crocodilian species (pointed snouts, mixed habitat in tropical climate). FEATURE: ISO (hair follicles) on each scale. MYTHBUSTER: crocodiles DO have umbilical scars, too, as alligators & other animals. VALUABLE: central belly cuts.

Alligator mississippiensis is a crocodilian species (rounded snouts, freshwater habitat in subtropical Southeastern U.S.). FEATURE: no ISO (hair follicles). MYTHBUSTER: not the only species with umbilical scars, crocodiles also have them among all other animals.

Crocodilian species from different habitats with lower grade skin that is less pliable and predisposed to cracking due to bony plates (ossification), which prevent from even tanning and result in "mottled" effect. MUTHBUSTER: often mislabeled by makers as "crocodile".

Leathers have been at man's disposal for centuries. Exotic skins however have always been about luxury. The classic leathers of alligator and crocodile have been particularly desirable as ultimate status symbols since their introduction in the 19th century. That's why their high price tags require accurate information and some myth busting to prevent confusion and misrepresentation in the volatile market of vintage exotic skin handbags. To see the details of the skin types and their additional images, click on the images or white buttons.

Reptile leather from 6-ft-long turtles (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Ocean habitat). Introduced as "fashion leather" in 1967. FEATURE: irregular swirl pattern with angular scales. MYTHBUSTER: often mislabeled and sold as "crocodile" or "alligator".

Most supple skin due to unique crisscross fiber pattern, from the world's largest flightless bird indigenous to Africa. Second in value to crocodile. FEATURE: quill "bumps". CUTS: full quill, smooth, leg. VALUABLE: full quill. MYTHBUSTER: imitations (ostrich pattern printed leather and vinyl) were produced as early as the 1920s.

Strong reptile skin from various lizards (Asian, South American habitat). TYPES: ring & java (monitor), tegu, iguana. FEATURE: tighly grained patterns ("beaded" & scaled). MYTHBUSTER: Tegu is often mislabeled/sold as "alligator" or "crocodile".

Decorative skin of various snake species with different patterns & textures. TYPES: karung, python, cobra. KARUNG: smooth, quality leather. PYTHON: scaly skin with bold, geometric patterns. COBRA: scaly skin tanned in solid colors.

© 1999-2012 Victoria Stowe. All Rights Reserved.

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