Mark your calendars. On 1st and 2nd June 2022, Saffron Art’s website will host an online auction of art and collectibles and there’s plenty there that will catch the erudite collector’s eye. The collection features a carefully curated list of pieces- each evocative and unique. The bags in the auction caught our eye and we spoke to Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffron Art for the history and story. Read on to know what you should be bidding for.
Saffron Art’s Online Auction Of Art, Collectibles Including Bags
ELLE: Tell us why you’ve chosen to go with the bags in this auction?
Dinesh Vazirani: Handbags are important collectibles, particularly the limited-edition luxury ones, specifically as there is a strong resale market today. There’s also a great resale market for such luxury bags today. Additionally, given the growing interest (and move) towards sustainable fashion, buyers are keen on purchasing pre-owned bags that have long-lasting value.
ELLE: How does the history of the piece play into its value?
DV: The history of a piece – be it a painting, a sculpture, a watch, or a handbag – tells a story. It informs us of the manner in which it was made, the skill of the craftsperson, as well as the legacy/career of the maker/artist. All of this, along with its provenance and rareness and/or uniqueness play a role in determining its value.
ELLE: Do you see people picking these up as collector’s pieces?
DV: Yes, absolutely. Our online auction presents collectors with a great opportunity to acquire limited-edition watches and luxury handbags at competitive price estimates that aren’t easily available anymore. These pieces are all collectibles that tend to retain their value, very often increasing with time due to limited availability, which, in turn, make them highly important to collectors.
ELLE: What are some of the bags that are always favourites?
DV: The iconic Birkin and Kelly bags by Hermès are great favourites that enjoy a “must-have” status in fashion and pop culture. The Birkin is considered amongst the most important in the Hèrmes line of bags. It was introduced in 1983, following a meeting between then-CEO Jean-Louis Dumas and actress and singer Jane Birkin on a flight. Upon hearing Jane complain about the difficulty of finding a weekend bag to her liking, the pair spent the duration of the flight sketching potential designs, which ultimately gave birth to the Birkin bag, a spacious yet sophisticated leather bag perfect for everyday use. Each Birkin bag is hand‒sewn, buffed, painted, and polished, and can take several days to finish.
The ‘Kelly’ bag, originally called the leather Sac à Dépêches, was named after Hollywood star and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly held it as a shield against the paparazzi in 1956. Created by Robert Dumas as a small, functional bag with straps, the bag is designed in a trapezoid shape with two triangular gussets, a sculpted flap, a handle, and good storage space.
Another great favourite is the Chanel flap bag, also included in this auction. Over time, and particularly in the last two years, there’s a growing scarcity of these fine, hand-crafted items, thereby increasing their value tremendously. The cost of a classic Chanel flap bag rising by 60% since 2019, coupled with the brand limiting buyers from multiple purchases per year, makes this piece a great investment.
ELLE: The Hermes Birkin and Kelly are both iconic bags, how did it come to this auction?
DV: All the works in this auction are part of a collection that is being reauctioned on behalf of the Directorate of Enforcement, Mumbai, Government of India.