You may have a scarf that has been forgotten in a drawer for years and while doing your spring cleaning you discovered this forgotten treasure. So what is my Hermès scarf worth, you wonder?
Well, the simple answer is, whatever a buyer is willing and able to pay for your scarf. Oh, you want a real value, I see…
So here is my guide, purely based on my personal experience over the years. Be warned, there is absolutely no scientific research behind this, nor any statistics and definitely no algorithm :-).
The more vintage in other words the older your scarf is, typically the higher the value. In addition to its age, however, your scarf also has to be in very good condition. An unworn scarf with the care tag still attached in its original box or tote will of course fetch much more than one with color runs, a hole and several pulled threads – common sense. In addition to that, here are nuances, such as colorway, year of edition, and some scarves are more sought after in different parts of the world than others. And then there are certain scarves that are simply more “coveted” than their sisters and cousins. Many times these are the scarves that have only been issued once, such as Combats de Coqs for example by Hugo Grygkar – 1954. But then again, one sold recently at an auction house in Sweden for 177 Euros (approx. $236) and one in Paris over a year ago for 100 Euros. Both, given their age, were in very good to excellent condition. This particular scarf has in the past sold for over $500.
In addition to age, a scarf’s artist/designer might be very sought after as is the case with Kermit Oliver (1984, his first scarf, Pani la Shar Pawnee, depicting a Pawnee Indian chief), the only American artist ever to have designed scarves for the famed Fashion House. Although his scarves, rich in detail celebrating the American West, are not necessarily considered rare, they are very sought after and regularly sell fast and for top dollar. Another highly sought after artist is Xavier de Poret. Unlike his American counter part, his scarves are considered very rare. Famous for his pencil drawings, 5 of his carres (Les Levriers Greyhunds and Mesanges to name just two), out of a group of nearly 30, are widely considered as the “rarest” of Hermes scarves.
Of course I cannot, not mention the Jacquards, my favorites among the carres, which Hermes stopped producing in 2001 due to high production costs. A jacquard scarf will typically either sell faster or for more than his twill cousin or possibly both. And yes, even among the Jacquards there is a pecking order. A Comedie Italienne by Philippe Ledoux from 1962 with its rich detail and beautiful lute and guitar pattern will sell for more than a Les Fetes du Roi Soleil by Michel Duchene from 1994. Other top sellers in this category are Napoleon and La Cle de Champs of course. Oh and lets not forget Joies d’Hiver and Plumes et Grelots.
We must also keep in mind, that there are several recent carres that are highly sought after as well, the 2004 Tohu Bohu by Claudia Stuhlhofer-Mayr for example.
So what does any of this really mean? The age and popularity of a scarf coupled with its condition, will be the primary determining factors in the value of your scarf. But as an avid collector myself, I have been known to “overpay” for a Le Bois de Boulogne, simply, because I love this scarf.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments – we welcome your input