A TikToker Bought a Vintage Purse for $1. It Turned Out to Be a 1920s Cartier Bag That Sold for $9,450 at Auction
Chandler West's stunning discovery has gone viral on TikTok.
Chandler West, a North Carolina resident with a penchant for procuring vintage and antique treasures, has gone viral for her unwitting acquisition of a quite valuable Cartier purse. The 1920s Art Deco bag, which she purchased for $1 at an online estate sale, was later sold at auction for $9,450.
West shared the story of her serendipitous find with her TikTok followers in February, recounting how she stumbled upon the purse two years ago. Initially drawn to its old appearance, she never suspected the purse held significant value.
“I just thought it looked old, like antique-level old,” she said in the short video. Still, West had a good feeling about the purse and decided to make the purchase. “I knew it was worth more than one dollar. And it’s pretty and I liked it so I bought it.”
After bringing the purse home, West left it “on a pile of things I just needed to research that I hadn’t gotten around to yet.” Only recently did she seek the help of a Facebook group to determine the bag’s provenance.
One group member said the purse—featuring an intricate print exterior with a small blue clasp adorned with gems—was likely made by luxury French brand Cartier. “It’s an Art Deco Cartier evening bag from the 1920s,” the member said. “The silk jacquard fabric of the bag is inspired by 17th-century Safavid textiles. They were very popular for evening bags in France in the 1920s.”
West then discovered, to her shock, that “Cartier” was engraved on the underside of the bag’s clasp. “After a lot of squinting and flashlight shining,” she said, “I knew that I had a real Cartier 1920s evening bag on my hands.”
The next day, she took it to a jeweler, who confirmed that the clasp featured genuine lapis lazuli blue stones, as well as 12 small diamonds. West then decided to sell it through Rago Auctions, which listed the bag as a signed and numbered silk handbag with a lapis lazuli and single-cut diamond clasp, weighing a total of 82.5 dwts.
@ciao.chandler I’M IN SHOCK #1920svintage #vintageclothing #auction #antiques #treasurehunt #cartier #update #fyp #foryoupage #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Chandler ?
The starting bid in the online auction was $2,000, but West was stunned to see the final price soar beyond the top estimate of $3,500, all the way to $9,450 (fees included). She returned to TikTok, where she recorded priceless reactions to the final sale price. Followers of the TikTok video praised her for her smart instincts and congratulated her on her success.
“It’s not lucky girl syndrome, it’s smart girl syndrome,” one fan commented.
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