Luck or a good collector’s eye? We think a little of both: A vintage clothing store owner was buying items online from a small estate sale for her Etsy store website. Because she was already paying for shipping, she added a few more items, including a small silk purse for $1 that didn’t have any bids.
A year later, she started going through the items and came across that purse — and noticed that it looks like it has small diamonds. Online collectors suggested she look on the lapis lazuli clasp to see if there was a mark or signature. Yep, there was. Cartier. After getting confirmation the diamonds were real and the signature authentic, the Etsy store owner realized she had paid $1 for an Art Deco multi-gem Cartier purse. She contacted Rago Auctions. With vigorous bidding, all recorded in a TikTok video that has gotten nearly 8.3 million views, the shocked store owner sold her auction find for $9,450 (including buyers premium).
A collector’s bonanza for sure. But Kovels’ collectors know that knowledge is more important than luck.
Learn more about buying vintage clothing and accessories in our buy/sell guides.
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