In 1837, trained saddler Thierry Hermès (1801 Krefeld - 1878 Neuilly) opened his Paris store, selling high quality horse gear and bridle. Hermès' luxurious designs came with a luxurious price tag - with his clientele made up of only France's most rich and glamorous. Hermès' impeccable craftsmanship was honored with an award at the Paris World Exposition in 1867.

Hermès - Birkin 25, Niloticus leather in 'Himalaya' Hermès - Birkin 25, Niloticus leather in 'Himalaya'
Estimate:£70 830-92 135

Hermès - Birkin 35, crocodile leather in graphite Hermès - Birkin 35, crocodile leather in graphite
Estimate: £65 630-85 435

In 1878 the company was taken over by Thierry Hermès' son. Under Charles-Émile Hermès (1835-1919), suitcases and leather bags were added to the production line in the 1890s. The shop was also moved to the elegant Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré no. 24, where the company's headquarters remain today.

Hermès - Birkin 30, brown crocodile Hermès - Birkin 30, brown crocodile
Estimate: £34 880-45 340

Hermès, Birkin 35, red-brown crocodile Hermès, Birkin 35, red-brown crocodile
Estimate: £48 750-63 380

From the 1920s, Hermès also produced high-quality handbags, of which two models have brought to absolute cult status, with whose prestige no other handbag can compare. In 1935 the Petit Sac Haut à Courroies was the design house's most coveted bag. In 1950s it adorned the arm of Grace Kelly, Princess Gracia of Monaco, and she was photographed throughout the decade with the bag. The bag was renamed the Kelly Bag and remains one of Hermès most exclusive designs.

Hermès - Kelly Clutch in Atoll Blue Hermès - Kelly Clutch in Atoll Blue
Estimate: £7 045-9 160

Hermès - Birkin 30, blue ostrich leather Hermès - Birkin 30, blue ostrich leather
£21 050-30 500

Mention Hermès and the iconic Birkin Bag immediately comes to mind. In 1986, Jean-Louis Dumas, a member of the Hermès family, reimagined a leather weekend bag which was both practical and elegant, and thus the Birkin Bag was born.

Hermès - Constance, fuchsia-colored alligator leather Hermès - Constance, fuchsia-colored alligator leather
Estimate: £22 080-28 735

Hermès - Birkin 25 in orange leather Hermès - Birkin 25 in orange leather
Estimate: £10 565-13 735

Various television programmes have reaffirmed the Birkin Bag's iconic status. Sex and the City and Gilmore Girls have dedicated storylines to the Birkin.

Hermès - Kelly bag, violet leather Hermès - Kelly bag, violet leather
Estimate: £8 590-12 460

Hermès - Constance, orange EPSOM leather Hermès - Constance, orange EPSOM leather
Estimate: £10 995-14 300

"Carrés", square silk scarves with the most incredible horse-inspired designs are equally is coveted as their handbag equals. And just as Tiffany have their little blue boxes and Cartier have their red leather and gold cases, Hermès orange packaging is instantly recognisable.

Hermès - Birkin 35, red goat leather Hermès - Birkin 35, red goat leather
Estimate: £11 310-14 795

Hermès, Victoria II, brown calfskin Hermès, Victoria II, brown calfskin
Estimate: £1 940-2 575

Catawiki's Hermès sale will end on 26th November at 8pm CET. Search the full catalogue here.

 

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