Christie’s Handbags & Accessories Auction

Exceptional Pieces From Chanel And Hermès

Extremely Rare Aluminium Explorer Trunk By Louis Vuitton

12 December 2018, London

 On 12 December 2018 Christie’s London will present at auction 225 rare, limited edition, and one-of-a-kind Handbags & Accessories. With a focus on the most sought-after vintage and current pieces, the sale will offer something for every collector, with estimates ranging from £500 to £150,000.

Highlights of the auction include an exceptional Chanel Matte White Diamonds Forever Flap Bag with 18k White Gold & Diamond Hardware (estimate: £50,000–70,000, illustrated above left), one of a limited edition of only sixteen. Also offered is a Hermès, Matte Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 35 with 18k White Gold & Diamond Hardware (estimate: £100,000–150,000, illustrated above centre). A similar piece in a smaller size was sold in London in June for £162,500 and currently holds the European record for most valuable handbag sold at auction.

A leading lot of the sale is an extremely rare aluminium Louis Vuitton explorer trunk (estimate £50,000-100,000, illustrated above right). Dating to 1892, this extraordinary trunk was created at a time when the production of aluminium was so complex it was more expensive than gold. Following its appearance at the “Exposition Universelle” in 1855 the demand for this precious metal soared.  The immense shine of the metal combined with its incredible lightness made it ideal for jewellery design and soon became the material of choice for the French elite, becoming known as ‘the white gold of Napoleon’. Louis Vuitton produced explorer trunks in a range of metals including Zinc, Brass and Copper however, due to exceptionally high production costs, only a very small quantity of aluminium trunks were crafted. These were coveted by explorers and high-society alike due to their resistance, weight and rarity.

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