What are Vintage Handbags?

Ladies Leather Handbags - Vintage Handbags

What is a Vintage Handbag?

The present day handbag first saw light of day in the nineteenth century when women found it fashionable to own a choice of bags to match their dresses - for the story of the first Louis Vuitton bags see - Louis Vuitton bags. Grace Kelly with Hermes Kelly Bag

In the early 20th century handbags became more complicated and by the 1920s the majority of women were carying purses with them but not many had one for each dress. In the 1950s and 60s designers like Dior, Vuitton, Chanel and Coach made handbags and purses an essential fashion item.

Vintage handbags therefore refer to any time before the 1980s and are often collected in the same way as people collect jewelry or books.

Other people however buy vintage handbags to use them. Designer handbags are exceptionally well made and bags like Patricia's Legacy have become timeless classics
For some people, to be a true vintage bag a handbag has to be designer handbag.

One of the most famous vintage handbags is the Hermes Kelly Bag.

The Kelly bag had been manufactured since 1935 under the name "Sac à dépêches" but it became famous in 1956 when Hollywood actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly used her Hermes bag to hide her pregnant stomach from the paparazzi.

Photographs were circulated throughout the world and made it to the cover of Life magazine.
Millers Handbags Collectors Guide
Grace Kelly was such an influential figure at the time that the handbag became known as the “Kelly” bag.

According to the Miller’s Handbags Collector’s Guide a vintage Hermes Kelly bag can fetch anything from $3,000 - $6,000.

There are 5 different sizes of Kelly bags, which can be made from alligator, crocodile, plain leather or ostrich-skin. Miller’s guide states that they can be identified by their trademark metal-tipped clasp, and tiny padlock. The clasp's concealed key is often covered in leather and hangs from the handle.

Each individual Kelly bag is manufactured by a single craftsman and required 18 hours work.

The Hermès Kelly bag is but one of a long line of collectable vintage handbags.
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