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INVESTING IN FASHION:HERMES VINTAGE HANDBAGS

Neon Fix

Artcurial’s upcoming auction offers the perfect opportunity to tap into a fast-growing market

Image: ‘Birkin’ bag by Hermès. Courtesy of Artcurial

The Parisian auction house Artcurial will put 100 vintage Hermès handbags up for sale in Monaco on 20 January, giving devotees of the brand the chance to own a piece of fashion history.

Since its inaugural Hermès Vintage auction in 2005, Artcurial has broken numerous records for the sale of the luxury fashion house’s iconic handbags: notably, it sold a Kelly bag for £55,200 last year. This high level of demand has been reflected on a global scale, with Christie’s Hong Kong selling a Birkin bag for an all-time high of £146,000 in June 2015. Overall, the value of Hermès’ vintage handbags is estimated to be increasing by an average of eight per cent a year.

Artcurial’s upcoming auction will bring together a carefully curated selection of bags made from rare leathers and exotic skins, with stand-out pieces including a 1992 Kelly bag in pink leather and a 2005 Constance bag in red goat-skin (both estimated at between £4,200 and £5,700). A highlight of the sale will be the opportunity to bid for a rare Birkin handbag in Nilo crocodile (estimated at between £109,000 and £145,400) that features diamond and white gold trimming and comes in a subtle colourway reminiscent of the Himalayan mountains.

Penelope Blanckaert, head of fashion and Hermès vintage at Artcurial, said: “When you buy an Hermès bag, you’re buying something timeless – an objet d’art with a story behind it, made with the utmost skill and the most refined artisanal techniques. It’s an authentic product whose value traverses the generations: like a good French wine, it gets better with age, and its value will only increase.

“If you’re considering investing in a vintage bag, key factors to consider include the size – interestingly, in this auction we have a number of 25-centimetre Birkin bags, which are rarer than the 30-centimetre models and tend to attract an Asian clientèle – and the texture: do you want something soft or firm, and how resistant does it need to be? Finally, choose your colourway carefully: this sale features a wide range of shades, from classic navy to bold reds and oranges.”

The sale takes place on 20 January at Yacht Club de Monaco, Quai Louis II, Monaco 98000, France. View the catalogue here.

Image: Kelly bag by Hermès. Courtesy of Artcurial