A stunning collection of luxury handbags and accessories from a private Mayfair residence drew in the crowds to Tennants’ sale of Vintage Costume, Textiles and Dolls earlier this month. The prospect of picking up a Louis Vuitton or Chanel bag for a song tempted buyers through the wintry conditions and encouraged a significant number of new bidders to the auction. Auctioneer Jane Tennant commented “There were a considerable number of private buyers in the saleroom, many new clients to Tennants. This luxury collection appealed to a new audience, which along with a high number of international online bidders encouraged competitive bidding.”
The collection achieved strong results throughout – 100% of the lots sold, with the majority of lots selling well above top estimate. However, it was the Chanel handbags that really stole the show; five bags from the luxury French fashion house made a combined hammer price of £7,850, with the top spot going to a Chanel Black Quilted Classic Flap bag, which made £2,400 against an estimate of £300-500 after fierce bidding both online and in the room.
The desire for labels was reflected in the rest of the sale, with new buyers attracted to vintage designer labels leading to stronger than usual sale prices. In particular, an elegant Ossie Clarke cream wedding dress doubled its top estimate to make £250. Likewise, the all-important label on an early Steiff Elephant – the trademark ‘button-in-ear’ of the German company – boosted the appeal of this much loved childhood toy to make £900 against an estimate of £150 -250.
Leaving labels aside, traditional lots of textile accessories achieved healthy results too. Part I of the Goodrich Court Collection from Herefordshire, including lace-making paraphernalia, sold well; the highlight of the collection being a 19th century Chinese Brise Fan that sold for £480 against an estimate of £200-300. Further traditional items were eagerly competed over too, with a lot of two knitting sticks fetching £500 against an estimate of £120-180, and a decorative late 19th/early 20th century embroidered panel made £600 against an estimate of £100-150.
The sale took place on 11th February.