Thursday, 7 April 2011

Monthly Vintage Advice Slot - Part 2

What's it worth??*£$??

I know it may seem strange to seasoned vintage lovers but some people do not know whether they like something or not until they know how much something is worth. Never mind the amazing workmanship, the fabulous materials, the perfection of the cut. It's not that they don't care about those things, they are oblivious  - what counts is the cash, and the more it's worth the more they like it. Even if one appreciated the general all-round excellence of an item there may come a day when there is need to sell or value. 

So, if you've bought or were given what appeared to be a bargain vintage item at auction/*bay/goodwill store/charity shop you may now want to know how much is it worth.

Scarcity and popularity, a wonderful combination that applies to old as well as new but vintage things often do not have contemporary equivalents for a comparable recommend retail price and therefore harder to put a figure on, however, here are some general guidelines beyond stalking result prices at actions*.

What lowers the price  

Brand that is not current but as yet has no cult following e.g Koret
No brand name or maker's mark indicated
A good brand name but the item not from that brand's heyday e.g. Christian Dior from the 1980s
A brand that has now declined in popularity and/or produces lesser quality goods eg Suzy Smith
An unfashionable shape
Major wear
Minor wear in a few places
Missing 'bits' e.g. a shoulder strap or a key to a lock
A style that is still in current production and relatively inexpensive e.g. a high-street beaded evening bag made in the Far East
A material/design/motif that is no longer politicly correct 
A fashion brand that had ceased then obtained cult status but then the name subsequently re-launched in mainstream fashion e.g. Biba

What adds to the price

Heritage brands that are current or have cult following e.g. Chanel or Lucille de Paris 
Brands name is clearly visible and typical of the make e.g. a Gucci Jackie or Britt
A good brand name made within the era of the maker's heyday e.g. Dior from the late 1940s-50s
A brand that has a great and continuous reputation for quality and desirability e.g. Hermes
An fashionable shape or colour
As new or very minor wear
No damage or missing 'bits' and no alterations
Clean and well maintained
A style that suggests a fashionable item of much greater value e.g. a no-name bag in the style of an Hermes Kelly  
A material/design/motif that is interesting and unusual
An item that is the original of a popular copies e.g. an Hermes Kelly bag
Made of highly prized materials

*Where further explanation is not self-explanatory not variable, the above uses leather-goods and bag makers as examples except in the case of couture/RTW fashion houses Christian Dior and Biba 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Liz Taylor, Paul Newman and a Gucci Flora Bamboo Top-handle, 1958

The most beautiful woman and man in the film-world 
with the world's most iconic handbag 

From the film set of the Cat on the Hot Tin Roof * (credit Rue Des Archives) 
*Taylor's husband Michael Tod died in a aeroplane crash during the making of the film, the studio gave her a couple of weeks off to mourn and then forced her back to work.