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Purchasing Vintage Hermes Bags In Resale: Things to Know

After covering vintage Chanel and vintage Louis Vuitton bags, we decided to finally discuss vintage Hermes.

Let's see how much are vintage Hermes bags, what's the best way to purchase a vintage luxury purse to stay away from scams and what are the best vintage Hermes bags to invest in.

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Hermes handbags history: A touch of vintage

Before we continue straight to handbags, it's important to understand the history of the brand and see when handbags became part of the luxury brand's portfolio. 

The company was founded by Thierry Hermès in 1837 as a harness workshop in Paris. Originally, intent was to serve the needs of European noblemen by providing saddles, bridles and other leather riding gear.

Gradually, the company’s range of products expanded.

In 1900, the company started selling the “Haut à Courroies” bag, which was meant for riders to carry their saddles in it. That would be the oldest and rarest Hermes handbag ever made. Of course the odds of coming across this type of vintage handbag, or actually antique bag as it's over 100 years old, is slim. Do you see any pattern here?

vintage hermes bag Haut a Courroies bag 1900

In 1918, Hermès introduced the first leather golf jacket with zipper, made for the then Prince of Wales.

In the 1920s, first accessories and clothing were introduced into the portfolio.

In 1922, the first leather handbags entered the product line. The brand’s travel bags line introduced in 1925 were a global success. In the 1930s, Hermès introduced two of its staples – the leather Sac à dépêches (later renamed as the “Kelly bag” after Grace Kelly, a princess of Monaco) in 1935 and the Hermès carrés (scarves) in 1937.

Vintage Hermes bags Hermes Kelly


How to Choose a Vintage Hermes Kelly Bag

The oldest Kelly (precisely, Sac à dépêches) that you can find can be almost 100 years. However, as handbags are not built to last through several generations, finding a 1930's Kelly can be difficult. As many productions were stopped during World War II, it's also unlikely that you come across an 1940's Hermes Kelly.

Therefore, the oldest vintage Kelly bag you can realistically find will be from the fifties. Here's what a 1950s handbag looks like:

vintage hermes bags hermes kelly

While choosing your first vintage Hermes Kelly handbag, pay attention to its condition. If the handbag is not new, the leather may be well aged and show multiple signs of wear.

Vintage Hermes Kelly bags are generally made of either box leather or suede (Doblis). Box leather shows most wear and tear on the leather edges, so pay attention to this part of the item. The leather itself may shows cracks or just general dryness. Naturally, that depends on the age and condition of the handbag.


How Much Are Vintage Hermes Bags?

As it is a very broad question, the answer also covers a broad price range. You can find an authentic vintage Hermes bag for $2,000-$50,000. Most of them, however, will fall into the $6,000-$20,000 bracket. Below you'll find multiple options to fit your budget and style.


Are Hermes vintage bags cheaper than present day bags?

Not always. For instance, a vintage Kelly 20 Sellier in good condition would cost approximately the same as a new Hermes Kelly 20. Moreover, due to the rare nature of such almost extinct handbags, their prices go through the roof. For instance, a vintage Hermes Kelly 20 made of Veau Doblis suede goes for $53,000 in resale!


1950s Best Vintage Hermes bags

Hermes leather handbag line didn't offer a lot of options in the 1950s. Only the Hermes Kelly bag, or Sac à dépêches, made it to our time staying iconic. Of course, there were dozens of other handbags that would really look vintage nowadays. In the 1950s, crocodile leather was widely adopted in handbags. Take a look at the options we've found for you below. 


Vintage Navy Hermes For Bonwit Teller 1955 Box Leather Berry Tote - $2,195

vintage hermes bags tote


Vintage Hermes Kelly 20 Sellier Mini shoulder bag - $15,500

vintage hermes kelly mini shoulder bag



1960s Vintage Hermes Bags

Most Hermes handbags in the 60s did not like look they look now. As it regularly happens with Hermes, there were staples like Kelly and Bolide, and a few other handbags aligned with the style and fashion of that time.

Vintage HERMES Paris 1965 Brown Leather Women’s “Piano” Bag - $2,950

vintage hermes bags bolide


Vintage Hermes Bolide bag - $2,850

vintage hermes bags bolide


Vintage Hermes Kelly 20 Sellier Shoulder Bag V Rouge Vif Box Calf Vintage - $13,440

 vintage hermes bags hermes kelly 20 sellier


1970's best vintage Hermes bags

The next decade brought a lot of handbags that have become Hermes regular items since then: Kelly, Constance.

Vintage 1974 Hermes New Jimmys Doblis Suede Khaki Color Shoulder Bag - $5,699

Vintage 1974 Hermes New Jimmys Dobris Suede Khaki Color Shoulder Bag Rare


Vintage Hermes Constance bag 1976 - $5,688

vintage hermes bags hermes constance




1980's best vintage Hermes bags

1984 brought the most known and desirable Hermes bag of all times, the one and only Hermes Birkin. If you're into vintage handbag and would specifically like to get a vintage Hermes Birkin, you can find a handbag that is over 40 years old.


Hermes Birkin 35 Courchevel 1985

vintage hermes bags hermes birkin 1985


Vintage Hermes Constance Veau Doblis 1980 bag - $10,353

vintage hermes constance bag

Vintage HERMES Box Calf Leather Black Jige GM Clutch Bag Handbag - $848

Vintage HERMES Box Calf Leather Black Jige GM Clutch Bag Handbag

Summary: Are Vintage Hermes bags worth it?

In this article, we've brought awareness regarding the vintage Hermes bags' options you have. As you can see, you are able to find literally anything, from a $800 clutch to a near-perfect Hermes Kelly from the 60s.

Vintage is not for everyone. A lot of people wouldn't be happy to purchase a used item, let alone vintage items that, generally, show obvious signs of wear or restoration.

There are less and less vintage handbags in the world, plus inflation is rising off the charts. That can only mean one thing: vintage Hermes bags will only grow in value. That makes it a feasible investment idea.


How to Tell if a Vintage Hermes bag is Real or Fake?

If you need some help with authenticating Hermes handbags, we can help. Select the authentication type that suits you most and we'll get back to you with the verdict within 24 hours.


  • Posted by Anna on


    I have a Hermes bag I picked up at a second hand store that appears to be very old and I cannot find another example of it anywhere online.
    It is a bucket bag with a large gold plated ring on it that is stamped with " Hermes" and the sateen lining inside just reads “Hermes Paris” , no other logo or stamps found anywhere which leads me to believe it’s a vintage bag made before 1944.The leather is of good quality but is cracked in some spots, also cracking and wear on the strap.
    Could it be that Hermes produced unique "one of the kind " bags like this at the start before they became popular and switched to mass production and what could a bag like this be possibly worth if indeed it turns out to be authentic?

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