Ok, the title sounds a lot worse that it is.
If you try to get in between a son and his mom, you lose.
I don't see a reason for concern, personally. I think maybe both of you made a big deal about the purse, but it's yours and you can do whatever you want with it.
"I asked him why he doesn't address it with her - some of the items she sends us, which he really had to answer to."
I don't understand what you're trying to say here.
She's not really being overbearing and he's not being a doormat. I think it would be unreasonable to make this into a huge issue right now. Just throw the purse into storage :) I don't think she is trying to control you by sending gifts, she's just a long way away and is trying to get closer to you with material generosity.
After reading this post and your other one about the alarm clock issue, I think you are making these small things into things much bigger then they are. I would not extrapolate your BF not telling his mother not to send items like the purse, into future events like he won't be able to stand up to her with anything. This purse issue is just way to small to worry about.
If that's the worst problem you have in your relationship, you're very lucky. His mother is being kind. If you don't like the gift, don't even mention it to your man. Give it to a friend or relative who will enjoy it. You will rarely see her, so she won't even know that you gave it away. Don't risk your relationship with your man or his mother by asking her not to send things, or to tell her you don't like her taste. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Sometimes you're going to get gifts you don't like or want.
My mom gives me (mostly) 'crap' all the time. I love it. Not the stuff but her wonderful heart. After she leaves, I sort it and most of it goes to goodwill. If she asks me about it later I say, 'It's around here somewhere.' However, when she tried to interfere with the dicipline of our kids, I told her to butt out or she'd be taking a good, long break from seeing them again.
Jeez, you want a guy who cares about his SO's feelings but not about his mom's? Haven't you heard a guy treats his wife the same as his mother?
Be careful before you go doing surgery on core, character traits like caring. What you usually end up with is complete excision towards the surgeon... the (what you would consider good and the bad) demonstrations of that entire trait.
If it were me I'd try to find something to use it for.
I think that it would be very poor manners to "confront" her~ a gift is not an offense.