Hermès: the nec plus ultra of elegance. Because this sale is vintage, I’m going to go. It takes place at Drouot auction house on Monday December 16th.
DROUOT auction house is located in the center of Paris in the 9th arrondissement; it’s a great place for people-watching (and for looking at the sale items, of course.) There’s a permanent buzz at Drouot – all the sale rooms are open to the public.
Here’s the Hermès Kelly bag, named after Grace Kelly, of course. There are quite a few in this sale.
Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco
And here’s the iconic Birkin bag, smaller and with two handles instead of one, named after English actress-singer Jane Birkin, best known for her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1970s. Years later, though, Jane asked the Hermès fashion house to rename the bag due to the cruel practice of killing crocodiles for the production of the handbags.
There’ll be lots of Hermès scarves at this sale, the famous silk ‘carré‘ (square): all in vibrant colors and patterns. These are estimated at 100 to 120 euros which is a bargain considering brand new squares start at 300 euros and go up to 900 euros. People will go to this sale for the scarves alone. And I’m thinking that what with Christmas and my birthday coming up, one of these would make a nice gift to myself.
The shoes below are estimated at 100 to 120 euros. Unheard of for Hermès footwear.
A collection of silver bracelets in the signature anchor chain (chaine d’ancre) –
Look for yourself at all the items in Monday’s sale. You can bid by telephone.
Decades ago, I had a Parisian boyfriend named Raoul. Raoul was a snob and a sophisticate (which is not the same thing as a sophisticated snob). On Saturday afternoons he liked to meet up with his equally snobbish friends at Drouot. I was invited to tag along. Like him, his friends were journalists at either Reuters or AFP (Agence France Presse.)
Back then, I was far from being a sophisticate. Before Drouot, the only auctions I had ever attended were in country barns in rural Ontario (my family had a weekend farm east of Toronto.)
Raoul had a penchant for Persian and Oriental rugs and would bid on them at Drouot. These rugs below remind me of him. Incidentally, Drouot is pronounced “Drew-oh”, the “r” in the back of the throat.
Look at these beautiful pressed flowers over a hundred years old.
Drouot is fun because anyone can just walk on in and attend the sales. Entrance is free. There are several rooms upstairs and sales occur simultaneously. There’s a lot of activity and people milling around. If you like beautiful, eclectic things and objects of historical value, I suggest that you go. Sales usually start at 2 p.m. Here below is the sale of postcards. A few years ago, a postcard dated October 1899 and signed Guillaume Apollinaire sold for 8,000 euros.
You can also bid via telephone and internet. Closest metro stop is Richelieu-Drouot on lines 8 and 9. There are some good restaurants and bistros in this bustling area: Au Petit Riche on the rue le Peletier, Chartier at number 7 rue du Fauboug Montmartre, 75009 Paris. And there are the passages to explore as well. Make a day of it!