Why the White Bead?
It took me some time to find out the reason to this perplexing question, and if you are a purse collector, you too may have wondered why one finds the odd and occasional white bead in an otherwise colorful purse. Could the beader have made this colossal error, at a moment when her mind slipped from her incredibly tedious work? No, because the white bead occurs in roughly the same place on the reverse side of the purse as well, which adds more puzzlement to the mystery. Well, here is the answer. The white bead is a signature of sorts. It indicates that this purse was made for the retail market, usually a department store, in this country. Making beaded purses was a respectable way for a lady to make money, and the store would typically arrange for the few ladies who produced the bags to "sign" a purse with a single white bead in a particular quadrant, thus identifying her to the store for her due compensation, as the purse was sold. If you don't find a white bead in a beaded bag, you can assume that either the bag was made solely for the use and enjoyment of its' maker, or that the bag is from a European country, where even if the bag was made for the tourist market, there was another type of arrangement, perhaps outright purchase, between the beader and the store which sold it.
Because the color White is used for highlights
in the design of this purse, the signature bead is tan colored.