Saturday, July 19, 2008

Musings On Collectible Hermes Scarves

An Hermes scarf is collectible simply because it is an Hermes scarf. But having collected them over the years it is interesting to watch the trends regarding those that collect them. Recently (within the last 2 years) we have watched one particular scarf rise in it's resale value tremendously. That scarf is "Rencontre Ocean" by the artist Annie Faivre. Oringinaly the scarf sold for somewhere in the neighborhood of $300.00 to purchase a new one. Recently ebay resales have seen the price go for anywhere between $600.00 to a recently listing of $1200.00.

The design is beautiful, and Annie Faivre is a much beloved artist for many a collector. But to try to answer as to why this particular design has risen in value the way it has, is a hard question to answer. The design has never been reproduced as of yet. (Hermes has reproduced other popular designs for a second issue) And so the collector who wants to own one is left to venture to the resale market.

In recent years we have seen other scarves become the rage of the resale market, "Cave Felem" and "Pavements" used to consistently bring between $450.00 and $550.00, and collectors stood amazed. But they did not stay as long on the rave list as Recontre Oceane has been doing. All of these were commercial seasonal issued scarves. They were not limited special edition pieces, and they were from fairly recent years in the Hermes history.

Kermit Oliver's "Madison Avenue" done for the reopening of the Madison Ave. store had a very limited release, was only sold at that store. And the full color version consistently resells for anywhere between $700.00 to $1200.00 on the resale market.

Recently a well known seller and collector offered a "TROIS-MOUSQUETAIRES" on ebay for a buy it now of $599.99. Not a bad deal when you consider that in the past it has usually brought between $500.00 and over $700.00. This design had a very limited production, was a special edition for a cognac company, and was originally created by Phillipe Ledoux one of the most prolific artist in Hermes history. The design was started by Ledoux, but he became too ill to complete it, as it was produced near his death. His nephew completed the design and the scarf is signed by both artists.

This highly collectible scarf did not sell in the recently listing and was later relisted at a lower price.

So answering the question regarding what makes one design more highly collected over another is a very difficult question. And there really is not definitive answer as to why "Recontre Oceane" continues to dominate the resale market. It is fun to watch the trends go in and out, but we maybe waiting a long time before the rave desire for "Recontre Oceane" deminishes.

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