Cash in the attic: Judith Leiber luxury handbags

Hungarian-born handbag designer Judith Leiber (born 1921) emigrated to the US in 1947, and worked for costume jeweller and handbag designer Nettie Rosenstein before founding her own company in 1963. She is best known for her cast-metal 'minaudière' evening bags, which are inspired by purses made by French designer Van Cleef & Arpels during the 1930s.

Celebrity following

They have attracted numerous Hollywood stars and almost every First Lady since 1963. More recently a cupcake minaudière was featured on the Sex and the City move and singer Katy Perry was also spotted with one.

They have attracted numerous Hollywood stars

Produced in a huge variety of different novelty shapes, including animals, the bags are cast, and then labour-intensively studded by hand with hundreds of glittering Swarovski crystals.

Sparkling returns

Her bags are expensive to buy and are highly exclusive. As such the most desirable discontinued designs can fetch more than they cost originally.  This stunning watermelon rhinestone studded minaudière, with hidden shoulder strap, the interior stamped 'Judith Leiber', is valued at £2,000-2,500

Did you ever own a Whiting and Davis handbag in the 70s? Find out more about them here.

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