Longivity of leathers

Jan 7, 2009
I have seen many post of Box bags that are 40,50 yrs old still looking wonderfull, do you think that chevre, clemance, togo or any other leather can still reach a ripe old age looking good. I would love to think that any bags i may buy could be passed down still looking wonderfull. What is your oldest one to date?


Jul 8, 2008
I think that if you treat your bags well and regularly send your bags to H spa the chances for them to survive longterm is pritty good.


May 17, 2006
i think one can not say for sure. i say it boils down to the individual owner and how he treats the bag.
theoratically yes it is absolutely possible that our bags can be passed down and may even do so for many generations BUT i assume most of the bags produced won´t

why? i think it is a combination of care and who buys them now versus who bought them back then.
to some of todays buyers it is either just a bag or they do not really care about it or just really love to use use use them .
i assume back in the day when H really was a luxury company one (or maybe 2) h bags where the pride of the women who owned them and they took great care about not only their bags but ALL of their belongings. it was just a less "throw away" society back then and when copared with todays world one with more limited financial resources

this attitude pared with better quality skins and workmenship made the bags "survivors" of generations

please get me right i do not judge anything nor do i say one is better than the other just an observation i made during my years on this planet and while studying old books talking with people from all walks of life etc.

but i am sure that some of todays bags will still look pristine in many years to come if you treat them well, if h i still around for repairs etc even todays skins have the potential to last a very long time


Oct 12, 2006
lilach said it--couldn't say it better.
No spa for me. Just careful use.
lilach - I agree with your comments - so true!! id like to think i take good care of my items and hope they will last a very long time. but some people abuse their belongings like not using the right dry cleaners etc or taking things into their own hands at home - after investing so much into beautiful items in the first place!
Jan 7, 2009
Well i hope mine will be passed down to my daughter as i always take care of my bags now especially H , I think they have to be used carefully as whats the point of having them as i am finding this out now, had too many other bags which sat in wardrobe never getting used what a waste.


Feb 22, 2007
i don't abuse my bags at all and i am also not going to baby them either. maybe things will happen to them maybe not. maybe it's because i don't have daughters but i am not concerned that my bags survive to the next generation. i am more concerned that they be enjoyed by me. i love to see a well used and loved bag and not a museum piece.
i care about my bags- i care too much to let them sit in my closet-


30th anniversary cuff
Aug 31, 2008
Oldest bag is 1950s porc sellier kelly from Luxury-shops (Pete-Mario)
Second oldest is 1985 28 BBK sellier

I also have box jiges and a barenia HAC but those are relative youngsters. I imagine that historic H leathers like box, barenia, porc (a saddle leather now discontinued), VN would stand the test of time better than other leathers.
I condition them (as per docride's thread). This is because Hermes does not water proof and in case I am caught in the rain, I want my bags to be protected. Porc and Box have notorious reputations for water blistering. I have also had work done by Hermes.

here are two side details of the black box leather and the porc leather which I think show the texture of these leathers well.

Last edited:


Aug 26, 2007
I think some of the leathers like box and barenia actually get better with age because they develop a patina. Leathers like clemence and swift may hold up very well but I don't think they improve with age.


Jan 17, 2009
i have a 35cm birkin since 1990 and its black swift leather it looks fantastic i do care for it but i have not sent it to hermes for its spa treatment because it just looks fantastic but i must say that my togo bags are also great and suffer less from scratches

hope this is usefull birkel
will post pictures.


Oct 31, 2006
perhaps we can add "everything else being equal" to the question :yes: that is, assuming the expected and appropriate care of leathers..... :smile:

i love the idea of passing down H handbags.... so "romantic" :yes: i don't believe in babying my bags either. but that is not to say i condone bag abuse :smile: we need to simply enjoy them i think. so i think it is a matter of picking the kinds of leather that best suited our lifestyle, where the longevity of our leathers is maximized without compromising our enjoyment of them. i am on a quest for this myself :smile:
Last edited:


Show Me The Orange!
Jun 17, 2006
Europe. Central.
My oldest bag is a Constance in courchevel from 1978. Looks brand spanking new. I don't think it has ever been to the spa.

Lilach, these are interesting thoughts. In terms of use - I would have argued the other way round: in the 'old' days, if a woman owned a Kelly bag, in all likelihood (I would have thought) that was the ONLY H bag she owned and I would have thought that that bag would have seen a lot of use and the bag would be well cared for. Whereas today, we see women owning a lot of H bags and swapping them often.