This bag is a genuine American made alligator skin bag from the 1930's. The customer had purchased it for his girlfriend without knowing what he had actually bought. The leather was still in a pliable condition, considering the age and the fact that the leather had most likely not seen any leather care for more than 70 years. The seams were still sound but the broken hand strap was in very poor condition
One of the challenges repairs like this pose are the finding the balance between caring for the old leather and killing it with kindness. Too little leather nourishment and the skin just returns to its dried out state. Too much dressing and the leather turns to mulch.
We carefully cleaned, repaired, touched up and reconditioned the leather. The strap had to be rebuilt from the original leather and have some matching new leather fitted where it attaches to bag. The repairs took the better part of a day, but the bag was worth it. I am sure that his girlfriend got a very pleasant surprise.