Featuring brands from Hermès and Chanel, our upcoming Paris handbags sales merge craftsmanship with unmistakable French style. Here, specialist Cyril Pigot-Kessler introduces a selection of pieces, appropriately photographed at Fontainebleau — the French château that’s housed 34 monarchs, from Louis VI to Napoléon III.
Rare sac Kelly Picnic 35 en Cuir Barénia & Osier, Garniture en Métal Argenté Palladié. Hermès, 2012. État 3. With lock, keys, clochette and dustbag. Estimate: €20,000-25,000. This piece is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 5 March at Christie’s in Paris
Cyril Pigot-Kessler: It seemed natural to place this picnic bag outdoors, on the famous fer à cheval staircase. I wanted something simple, yet dramatic — we’re just waiting to be whisked away on an outdoor adventure.
Rare sac Kelly Natura Sellier 28 en Alligator Lisse Vert Céladon, Garniture en Métal Doré. Hermès, 1994. État 3. With lock, keys, clochette, shoulder strap and dustbag. Estimate: €15,000-20,000. This piece is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 5 March at Christie’s in Paris
Cyril Pigot-Kessler: Marie-Antoinette commissioned the design for the rich Boudoir Turc in 1777, mixing her own very particular style with the latest trends of the period. Designers usually refer to the Louis XVI style — here, however, it’s really Marie-Antoinette who’s in control.
A Hermès bag seemed a perfect addition to this setting — perfectly echoing its designer’s elegant style. There’s a surreal sense that the Queen might suddenly appear to take her ‘Kelly’ bag — a magical notion that we could lose track of time and slip into the past.
Pochette Kelly cut en Crocodile Porosus Lisse Bougainvillier, Garniture en Métal Argenté Palladié. Hermès, 2015. État 1. With felt protector, dustbag, ribbon and box. Estimate: €10,000-15,000. This piece is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 5 March at Christie’s in Paris
Cyril Pigot-Kessler:: Another of Fontainebleau’s famous residents, Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoleon I (and therefore Empress of the French). Hidden behind a mirror is the intimate area in which she used to bathe, so we have the ‘Kelly’ rouge laid out on a chair, ready for the Empress to pick up as she heads out of the château.
Sac Classique Double Rabat Jumbo en Alligator Lisse Rouge, Garniture en Métal Doré. Chanel, 2011. État 3. With dustbag, leather and authenticity cards. Estimate: €6,000-8,000; Sac Classique Double Rabat Jumbo en Alligator Lisse Turquoise, Garniture en Métal Argenté. Chanel, 2012. État 2. With dustbag and authenticity card. Estimate: €6,000-8,000. These pieces are offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 5 March at Christie’s in Paris
Cyril Pigot-Kessler: I’ve loved this throne since first visiting to Fontainebleau as a child. Displayed in the bedroom that once belonged to Napoleon, it is even more exceptional for being the only throne to survive since the fall of the French monarchy.
With its magnificent imperial eagle, the throne provides a dramatic setting for these two Chanel bags, in red and blue in honour of the revolution. I did not dare display them on the throne — to do so would have been sacrilege.
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