Christie's announces first handbags & accessories auction in Italy

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Christie's announces first handbags & accessories auction in Italy
A Limited Edition Ficelle, Paprika Toile Barenia Leather Flag Birkin 35 with Permabrass Hardware. © Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

MILAN.- Christie’s announces Inside the Orange Box: A Lifetime of Collecting, an online sale of extraordinary handbags, open for bidding from 14 to 23 June 2022. This single owner auction represents a celebration of one collector’s passion, showcasing an encyclopedic collection of Hermès handbags, accessories, lifestyle objects, textiles, jewellery, watches and more. Comprising a total of 257 lots, including 145 handbags, the auction will be on public preview at Christie’s Palazzo Clerici, Milan, from 17 to 19 June 2022.

Lucile Andreani, Head of Handbags, Christie’s EMEA: “We are thrilled to present Christie’s first Handbags & Accessories auction ever held in Italy, which follows the success of our first single-owner Handbags and Accessories sale, held in Paris earlier this year. This truly unparalleled offering exemplifies a lifetime of collecting by a passionate connoisseur of all things Hermès. Never before has such a large and dynamic collection appeared at auction and we are delighted to showcase these coveted limited edition pieces at Christie’s Milan this season.”

Rachel Koffsky, International Head of Handbags, Christie’s: “This auction is a celebration of one collector’s passion. It presents a colourful and whimsical array of Hermès designs throughout the decades, amassed by a wise collector, patron and true connoisseur, whose passion and knowledge resonate throughout the designs.”

A highlight lot of the auction is a rare 2010 denim and black Evercalf leather Shadow Birkin 40 customised by Petit H (estimate: €10,000 – 12,000). The Shadow Birkin was first introduced in 2009 by famed French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès’s Creative Director from 2003 to 2010. Gaultier made his mark on the house by reinterpreting classic styles in contemporary ways. For the Shadow, he sought to create a trompe-l’œil effect through the illusion of a top flat and sangles. In reality, the design is a raised impression, making it the only Birkin to stray from the traditional structure. The piece was customised by Petit H working with the collector, who as a patron of Hermès could chose custom designs by the workshop.

The innovation and reinterpretation of materials by the Hermès workshop is demonstrated in the artistry of the Picnic series. The delicate nature of osier, or wicker, means it is used by only the most skilled artisans. The resulting basket pattern is paired with Barenia leather, the material used in saddles. The collection will present an Osier Kelly 35 (estimate: €18,000-24,000), first seen in 2011 as part of the Spring Summer Collection by Jean Paul Gaultier. The 2016 Spring/Summer Picnic Party collection saw the introduction of an expanded variety of wicker items, and the auction will offer designs of this period including the Picnic Farming Bag (estimate: €4,000-6,000) and Picnic Garden Party (estimate: €3,000-4,000).

A 2013 limited edition natural Barenia leather and toile Ghillies Birkin 35 (estimate: €6,000-8,000), one of Hermès’s most coveted designs will be presented. Introduced in 2012, the Ghillies was an extension of the haute bijouterie collection produced in 2011 by Pierre Hardy, Artistic Director of Jewellery at Hermès. The design is distinguished by its decorative trim, inspired by the broguing on the Scottish men’s dress shoe of the same name.

A 2014 limited edition ficelle, paprika toile and Barenia leather Flag Birkin 35 (estimate: €6,000-8,000) is one of the sportiest designs by Hermès. Featuring vibrant colour-blocking, the bag features a fiery combination of orange Barénia-leather stripes with a red crinoline panel.

The auction will showcase the sought-after 2011 Candy Collection. Available in four colours; Kiwi, Celeste, Lime and Rose Tyrien, this design was only produced in Epsom Leather featuring bright colours set against a darker contrasting hue inside.

Further highlights include a beautiful selection of Sac à Malice handbags, first introduced in the late 1980s. These wearable works of art feature different themes, with the clasp playfully incorporated into the designs for example as a parachute, champagne cork or flagpole finial.

A selection of Hermès accessories will be offered including the latest edition of Rodeo Pegase charms. Inspired by the mythical winged horse, this design has been coveted by collectors since its launch and can be even harder to find than a Hermès handbag.

From the collection of scarves, beautiful editions from iconic collaborations will be offered including the Hermès x Colette J’Aime Mon Carré. Overseen by Hermès Artistic Director of Silk, Bali Barret, the bold and graphic designs were released in 2010 and were available for three weeks. Hermès x Comme des Garçons, a 2013 capsule collection of six scarves were reinterpreted by Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo. Released in limited numbers with only 200 of each design, the scarves feature elements of the Comme des Garçons line including the iconic polka dots, nylon gingham and brand motto ‘Live Free with Strong Will’, combined with traditional Hermès prints.

Petit H is the upcycling line created by Pascale Mussard at Hermès to create unique objects, design and shapes by reusing materials from other Hermès métiers. The inspiration in the workshop is playful creativity, based on surprise and transience and the designs are one off pieces or only available in very limited editions.

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