Fashion / Shopping

Hollywood Royalty’s Luxury Handbags to be Auctioned Off in Dallas

Rare Treasures Draw Art Collectors and Fashion Fanatics Alike

BY // 04.25.19

It was a tony series of happenings when Dallas-headquartered Heritage Auctions — the world’s third largest auction house — came to town for its first-every luxury accessories preview in Houston.

Heritage is known by discerning fashion shoppers for pioneering the couture handbag auction market globally with luxe lots culled from top-tier closets. These are in turn presented in a series of collectible auctions throughout the calendar year in Dallas, Manhattan and Beverly Hills.

The venue for the two-day Houston preview, which was capped by an evening reception, was unique and artful: Deborah Colton Gallery. Russian-born and St. Petersburg-based Ivan Plusch’s recent Surrealist canvases made a painterly backdrop for the vibrant, multi-hued handbags showcased.

The focus was singular at this white cube — some 34 rare handbags by Chanel and Hermès, catnip to fashionistas, were curated in appealing vitrines, reminiscent of museum cases.

The provenance on many of the most alluring handbags came from a storied collection with ties to Hollywood and Broadway. Candy Spelling, the Tony award-winning producer, TV reality-show personality, television producer, best-selling author, philanthropist and wife to late L.A. TV and film mogul, Aaron Spelling.

Candy Spelling, Stephen Collins and Joan Collins during 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards – Governors Ball at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
Candy Spelling, Stephen Collins, and Joan Collins during 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards – Governors Ball at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)

Purse Party

An intimate crowd of art collectors and social swells turned out for the elegant look at some very wearable sculpture, the fine art indeed of couture handbags.

David Brown Flowers devised special arrangements to complement the lustrous handbags on display, while Sweet & Savory by Daniela Chanin catered the day-into-evening preview and cocktail party.

Heritage Auction experts traveled in for the occasion, to meet Houston notables, chat handbags, and share insight about collecting within the luxury market. Diane D’Amato, Manhattan-based director of luxury accessories for Heritage and her Dallas colleague, luxury consignment director Cristy DuRoss were on the scene. Sarah Sutton, director of business developer for Heritage, also came in from Dallas for this inaugural Houston event.

Previously with the Menil when she lived in Houston, Sutton had a chance to visit with two former museum colleagues who stopped by for the preview: The Menil Collection’s Karen Sumner, and Meghan Thrash, now with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Luxury lovers on the scene: Gabriela Dror, Mary Grace Gray of John Daugherty Realtors, Anita Garten, Nina Yu, Diana Chen, Varda Dror-Fields, Tiziana Triola, Denise Adjei, Tanya Castro, Maribel Rueda, and independent curator Eugene Foney (shopping for a friend).

A Spelling Primer

In Broadway, this spring into summer, the powerhouse Spelling has four high-profile shows she has produced rolling out: Tootsie, Hillary and Clinton, King Lear, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Read more about the producer’s theatrical chops here.

The name Spelling conjures up the glam, over-the-top, iconic, and decade-defining TV shows of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s produced by Aaron Spelling — The Mod Squad, Dynasty, Charlie’s Angels, Melrose Place, and Beverly Hills 90210. The couple was married for nearly four decades until his death in 2006. (Spelling had Texas ties too, growing up in Dallas and attending SMU.)

Read the roll call of Aaron Spelling TV hits here.

Birkins Giving Back and Getting New Homes

Candy Spelling’s also an activist for causes — kids, animals, parks, and her hometown of Los Angeles.

Sales from lots available for immediate purchase during the Houston viewing benefitted the American Cancer Society’s Houston Corks and Forks.

Spelling writes in the Heritage catalogue about her 50-year passion for beautiful purses: “I buy what I love… sometimes, when I have something new, I pick the outfit to go with the bag.” She said of the desire to de-accession some of her prized collection: “While all of my bags bring me joy, I decided that if I’ve never used a bag or haven’t worn it in five years or so, it was really just taking up shelf space so why not let someone else enjoy them.”

Scroll through the slideshow for some of the collectible handbags up for acquisition that were exhibited in Houston at Deborah Colton Gallery, including two of Candy Spelling’s favorites. 

See all 496 covetable lots featured this Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Heritage’s Spring Luxury Accessories Auction held in Dallas, and bid here.

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