Imagine you’re cleaning out a relative’s attic. As you rummage through dusty boxes and try to avoid a sneezing fit, you come across a handbag carefully wrapped up in the corner. It’s in good condition, but you already have too many bags. You decide to look the purse up online before you drop it off at your local donation center.
And it’s a good thing you did! The most valuable vintage purses are still sought after today and are often worth a lot of money. Like with coins and vintage jewelry, there’s someone out there who would really enjoy owning your relative’s purse — and would pay you well for the opportunity. Here are five old purses worth money to keep an eye out for, whether you’re looking to sell or shopping at a thrift store.
1. Hermès Minaudiere Shiny Crocodile Clutch
Originally a harness and bridle company, Hermès eventually began crafting luxury purses that have been carried by well-known vintage icons like Grace Kelly. Famous styles include the Kelly bag and Birkin bag, which continue to be highly coveted bags today.
Hermès purses are so desirable that people spend years on a waiting list before acquiring one new. Finding a vintage Hermès bag allows you to cut the line and own a piece of history at the same time. Pre-owned bags have a unique charm all their own.
This gorgeous clutch bag measures 2.17 inches wide, 6.3 inches tall and 8.86 inches long. It’s made of Niloticus crocodile and finished with golden hardware. A gold stamp inside notes the brand and the location where this purse was made — Paris, France. This extremely rare bag is valued at $16,500.
2. Chanel Metallic Bronze Python Shoulder Bag
Vintage Chanel bags were made with many different materials, ranging from leather to exotic animal skins like alligator and python. Although Chanel has since discontinued these exotic handbags, you can still find vintage bags with these iconic high-fashion materials in pawn stores, vintage shops and thrift stores.
Chanel bags are the creation of Coco Chanel, who disrupted the fashion industry in the early 1920s with her women’s fashion and accessories lines. Chanel incorporated military style into her suits and bags, combining fashion and practicality to change the face of fashion history.
This Chanel shoulder bag is made of brown and metallic python with an overlaid diamond pattern. The classic chain hardware creates contrast with its silver tone. The bag measures 9.5 inches high, 15.5 inches long and 3 inches wide. This bag was created in Italy and designed in the early 2000s. It’s valued at roughly $15,000.
3. William De Lillo Jeweled Gilt Metal and Leather Evening Bag
William De Lillo worked primarily with jewelry and sculpture, the influence of which you can see on this highly decorated bag. His unique pieces are considered wearable art and difficult to find.
This unique handbag is made with off-white leather, gilt metal and faux gemstones that include rubies, turquoise and rhinestones. The metal overlay was inspired by the bohemian, Byzantine look of the 1960s. This bag closes with a chain decorated with faux rubies. It can be worn with a chain shoulder strap that’s decorated in the middle with additional faux gemstones.
This designer bag measures only 7 inches high, 6.75 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep. A small tag inside the bag notes the designer — WM. de Lillo. Assuming you can find one, you can own this gorgeous evening bag for about $4,000.
4. Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse Monogram Graffiti Roses Speedy 30
Originally a packing and travel case company, Louis Vuitton now sells a variety of luxury handbags, shoes and apparel. The company’s interlocking “LV” branding was first used in the 1890s to help distinguish authentic Louis Vuitton bags from counterfeits.
This bag’s exterior canvas is dark brown and decorated with the recognizable Louis Vuitton symbol. A graffiti rose pattern — indicative of collaborator Stephen Sprouse’s pop-punk style — overlays this background print, adding a splash of color and a vintage feel. Golden tan piping finishes the bag and matches the handle.
Made in France, this Louis Vuitton handbag measures 12 inches long, 7 inches wide and 9.5 inches tall. Stood upright, the handle adds another 3.5 inches to the bag’s height. This purse is marked with a piece of pointed leather that states the brand name and place it was made. Designed in the 20th century, this purse is valued at roughly $2,500.
5. Gucci Two-Tone Crocodile Embossed Clutch
Similar to the brand Hermès, Gucci started as a company that created leather equestrian items. The owner, Guccio Gucci, eventually branched out into leather handbags. He began experimenting with materials like woven hemp and bamboo in response to a 1930s embargo.
Gucci bags have been famously carried by vintage icons such as Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly. These women helped shape the direction of Gucci’s future with their input and patronage. Both vintage and modern Gucci bags and clothing have a high value today.
This gorgeous Gucci bag is made of embossed crocodile skin and two-toned metal. It comes complete with a matching crocodile skin compact mirror and a detachable leather shoulder strap. This petite bag is lined with black satin and measures 4 inches tall, 2 inches deep and 6 inches long. Its value is estimated at around $6,500.
Sell Your Vintage Purses to The Vault Jewelry and Loan
Do you have an antique purse you want to know the value of or sell? Find your ideal buyer by selling vintage purses to The Vault Jewelry and Loan. Contact us today via our online form or by calling us at 703-379-1006!