The high jewellery handbags

Fashion designers aren’t the only ones to unveil their most exclusive creations: English high jewellery house Asprey released limited-edition handbags embellished with precious jewels.

1781-Mini-detail

Detail of Asprey Private Collection 1781 Mini in sea green crocodile lined with coral rose kid suede, featuring a pave diamond lock in 18-carat white gold with a diamond and white gold charm (Click photo to enlarge).

For those who consider their handbag as prized a possession as their fine jewels, no ordinary off-the-runway sac will suffice. For no matter how much the likes of Chanel, Fendi and Yves Saint Laurant elevate their prices in order to distinguish themselves from more affordable designer lines (Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs for example), there remains a hardcore handbag fan-base for whom no four-figure sum is enough to deter them from securing whichever bag their Hollywood heroine is currently carrying. And as they’re an investment purchase which will last beyond a season or two, luxury handbags remain relatively commonplace among the masses.

1781-Mini-green

Asprey Private Collection 1781 Mini in sea green crocodile lined with coral rose kid suede, featuring a pave diamond lock in 18-carat white gold with a diamond and white gold charm (Click photo to enlarge).

So what’s a bag lady to do in order to secure a tote that no-one else is toting? Going vintage is one option. With a vast array of colours, shapes and sizes manufactured in limited-edition runs, vintage Hermès  bags include some of the rarest on the market, and can command price tags of up to $95.000 as a result!!

1781-Mini-in-Violet-Crocodi

Asprey Private Collection 1781 Mini in violet crocodile with a lilac mist kid suede lining, embellished with handcrafted pave diamond bubbles and featuring a pave diamond and white gold clasp (Click photo to enlarge).

Alternatively, one could look to the brand new but no less exclusive ranges from heritage brands such as Asprey, whose Private Collection last year comprises just 12 one of a kind crocodile handbags. Like a fusion of bag and jewellery, the pieces are finished with 18-carat rose, silver or yellow-gold hardware and embellished with precious stones such as tanzanite, sapphire, garnet, cognac, and pink and yellow diamonds. Created in collaboration with Katie Hillier, celebrated handbag designer, creative director of Marc by Marc Jacobs and founder of the Hillier luxury jewellery line, the handmade bags are created in signature Asprey styles: the Morgan, the 1781 and the 167, with each one containing a crocodile zip purse, a crocodile-trimmed sterling silver mirror and plaque engraved with its unique number.

166-in-White-Grape-Crocodil

Asprey Private Collection 167 in white grape crocodile with a cerulean blue kid suede interior, featuring an 18-carat white gold lock laid with mêlée diamonds (Click photo to enlarge).

167-in-White-Grape-Crocodil

Asprey Private Collection 167 in white grape crocodile in its wooden presentation box

Like the jewellery houses’ most exclusive collections, these handbags are available to view and purchase by invitation only. Echoing the jewels they jostle with, each one is presented in a velvet-lined, calf leather case complete with a customised kid suede pillow to maintain the handbag’s shape when not in use. Bags to cart around packed lunches and gym kits these are not.

by Jean Amr

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