Known for outstanding sculptural handbags in the Surrealist tradition, Ann Marie of Paris produced imaginative handbags in suede and leather after WWII. The wide variety of fans, telephones, pianos and ice buckets, complete with Lucite ice cubes have become hot collectibles.
Once seen this unique creations are unforgettable. But in spite of the interest in the bags, information about the maker is sparse. Labels locate the company at 228 Rue de Rivoli, Hotel Meurice, Paris. Infamous as the headquarters of the German commander during WW II, after years of lavish remodeling it is now one of the foremost luxury hotels in Paris.
I found the history includes this tidbit about Salvador Dali's annual stays in the hotel and provokes the notion that the Surrealist bags sold in the erstwhile home of oue of the premier Surrealists of the 20th Century might not be a coincidence!
The Dali Anecdotes
"One of the hotel's most outrageous guests was the surrealist painter Salvador Dali, who spent at least one month per year at Le Meurice. His behaviour could also be surrealistic: once he demanded that a herd of sheep be brought to his room, and upon their arrival, Dali took out his pistol and shot at them. Luckily, the gun was filled with blank bullets. Another time, he requested a horse. Yet another time, he asked the staff to capture flies for him in the Tuileries Garden, paying them five francs per fly.
Dali was a regular at Le Meurice. He became close to certain members of the staff, to whom he would give autographed lithographs of his work as a Christmas tip."
Since it is known that Dali contributed drawings that are engraved inside the Straeter Lite-On Bags, it may not be a stretch to imagine his flamboyant behavior and Surrealist expertise might have influenced the remarkable output of Ann Marie.
For More on Salvador Dali, Visit "Meeting Dali!, Encounters with Salvador Dali -- in person or simply through his timeless mystique!"