Now a by-word for luxury, craftsmanship and unparalleled exclusivity, Hermès was established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as a harness workshop serving the Paris elite. In 1900 the company released their first bag, designed for riders to fit their saddles in, as well as other accessories such as riding boots.

The company expanded into fashion in 1918, with the first leather golf jacket was created for the Prince of Wales. Throughout the 1920s, further clothing, watches and accessories were created, with the firm's travel bags ensuring Hermès great success. The company entered the American market in the 1930s, with a colloboration with retailer Neiman Marcus of New York. Iconic designs that are still highly sought after to this day were released in this decade, with the 'Kelly bag' or Sac à dépêches produced in 1935, and the silk scarves two years later. 

The logo we know today and signature orange box was introduced in the 1950s, and during this time the company released their jewellery line, offering both costume jewellery including the Clic Clac bracelet and enamelled bangles, as well as fine gold and gem-set jewellery in the 1950s. The firm began to develop their selection of watches in 1978, fifty years after the production of their very first timepiece. 

The most sought-after bag at auction, the iconic Birkin bag was introduced in 1984 after a fated conversation between CEO Jean-Louis Dumas and actreee Jane Birkin on a plane from Paris to London. She stated that she needed a medium size bag, and the rest is history! Each Birkin bag takes a single craftsman anywhere between 18 and 25 hours to create. These bags are exceptionally sought after, achieving the highest hammer prices for handbags at auction. 

We hold three Designer & Luxury Sales per year, with Fashion Sales taking place throughout our annual calendar of sales. Our Designer Department is headed by Liz Bailey, who oversees all of the designer bags, accessories and clothes entered into our sales.

Our specialist Fine Jewellery & Watch auctions are held 4 times a year and include the whole spectrum of jewellery, from modern and designer pieces to antique jewels, coloured gemstone jewellery to fine diamond rings. Our department is headed by Liz Bailey who is FGA and DGA qualified, with many years experience in the industry. We offer a free valuation service as well as a free collection service for items consigned to these auctions.

For a free, confidential auction valuation of your collection, to enquire about any of our lots or to enter your own collection into one of our specialist sales, get in touch: liz.bailey@wilson55.com or fill in our online valuation form below. 


< Back to Directory

Next Auction

Fashion & Designer Sale

starts: 1st Jun, 2024 12:00

Liz Bailey


Department Specialist

+44 (0)1270 623878

Free Auction Valuation

We offer a free valuation service to anyone considering the sale of items through our auctions. Complete the form below and one of our specialists will get back to you promptly.

Fields marked * are required.


Images *

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.

News & Articles


Designer News

Join our newsletter to stay up to date with auction news and articles.



Lot Alerts

Never miss out - sign up for our Lot Alerts and find the lots you're looking for.

Set up free alerts