Leopold H. Guldman was born in Harburg, Bavaria in 1853 and immigrated to the United States in 1870. He was one of Colorado’s leading merchants and philanthropists. Guldman came to the Colorado mountains in search of silver, but found it more profitable to open the Golden Eagle clothing stores in Leadville and Cripple Creek. Leopold Guldman opened the Denver Golden Eagle Dry Goods store in 1879 on Sixteenth Avenue and Lawrence Street in downtown Denver and was the first merchant to locate a large store on Sixteenth. After Guldman’s death in 1936, his store endured hard times and was forced to close in 1941.
This blue glass-beaded purse, with a drawstring and beaded tassel at the bottom, was sold at Leopold Guldman’s Golden Eagle Dry Goods store in Denver, Colorado. There is still a tag from the Golden Eagle store attached to the purse.The purse was made in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s and features blue glass beads, probably sprayed with metallic salts to produce an iridescent quality. The type of purse was used by flappers in the “Roaring Twenties” as an evening bag.
The purse is part of the Collection on Guldman Family and Golden Eagle Dry Goods (B294) which contains materials donated by the grandchildren of Leopold Guldman. There is also a collection on Leopold H. Guldman and Golden Eagle Dry Goods Company (B092), which contains the business records of the Golden Eagle Dry Goods Company, as well as a collection (B156) of Guldman family correspondence with Jews in Germany, trying to get help to leave Germany before the Holocaust.