Quality and Value

Value is one of the most important factors influencing the price of your collectible.

It is based on several features outlined below. 

Note that a collectible vintage handbag with a provenance (documented history of its origin and ownership) is more valuable than an ordinary, mass-produced handbag without history or story. Such documented provenance may include an original marketing ad, or a purchase receipt with the name of the store, the date of purchase and the original price. The provenance usually increases the selling price of a collectible. Unlike a work of fine art, however, a vintage handbag stamped by the name of a previous owner is actually less valuable than an unmarked piece, unless it belonged to a celebrity or a dignitary.

Victoria Stowe Collection

More Valuable Features


Genuine skin
Authentic vintage
Original vintage
Fine collectible 
Rare, unusual piece (design and features)
Signed by a recognized designer, or maker
Documented provenance
No name of a previous owner
Excellent original condition
Rare color
Oversized or miniature
Crocodile/alligator skin
Crocodile/alligator/caiman skin
Crocodile/alligator skin
Underbelly skin
Belly cut
Symmetrical central cut (pattern cut)
Whole, single skins
Suede or leather-lined (day handbags)
Satin or moire-lined (evening bags)
Original handle
Structural, padded handle
Skin-covered frame
Skin gussets
Skin bottom
Protective rivets on the bottom
Metal zippers
Original condition
Acquired from a specialist

Less Valuable Features


​​Embossed leather or vinyl
Recent (after '80s), mass-produced
Altered vintage
Casual handbag for everyday use
Common, mass-produced vintage
No provenance
Stamped with the name of an owner
Lesser condition
More common black or brown color
Common medium-or small-sized
Lizard skin
Turtle skin
Hornback skin
Tail or flank cuts
Outside-the-pattern cut
Patched skins
Leatherette or fabric-lined (day handbags)
Faille or fabric-lined (evening bags)
Replaced handle
Soft, unstructured handle
Metal frame
Embossed leather gussets
Embossed leather bottom
Bottom with no protective feet
Plastic zippers
Refurbished or repaired condition
Acquired from a general dealer