Special Issue, Limited Edition and Grail Hermès Carrés – Explained

Hommage a l’Explorateur Sir Ernest Shackleton Hermes scarf designed by Zoe Pauwels (2005) – Special Issue – a tribute to the great explorer

Ginza 5-4-1 24 Faubourg Seconde Hermes scarf also known as Ginza 5-4-1 – Dimitri Rybaltchenko 2011 – Limited Edition (more about this carre in my previous post)

Turandot Hermes scarf designed by Natsuno Hidaka (2002) – Grail
There is a Limited Edition of this design that was issued for the Grand Opening of the Charlotte (Carolina USA) boutique

Lets then start with definitions of what these terms mean and imply:

Grand Prix Polo de Bagatelle VTG HERMES Silk Scarf RARE


A Special Issue is an original design that Hermes issued for either advertising or commemorative purposes.

Some examples include:

France – Designed by Christiane Vauzelles for the maiden voyage of the iconic ocean liner, France, on February 3rd 1962. Sold exclusively on board of the ship.

Le Grand Prix de Polo de Bagatelle – Designed by Jean-Louis Clerc in 1955 (never re-issued), The Polo de Bagatelle is the only Parisian polo club located in the Bois de Boulogne park.

Les Jonquilles – Designed by Philippe Ledoux and issued in 1999 to celebrate PIAGET’s 125 anniversary

Madison Avenue – Designed by Kermit Oliver in 2000 to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the opening of the Hermes Madison Avenue boutique in New York

Limited Edition Brides de Gala


A Limited Edition design will typically have a refence to a specific event, for example the store opening Brides de Gala gavroches that Hermes published to celebrate the opening of a new Hermes boutique and given as a gift to patrons.

Some examples include:

Cheval Fleuri (Neiman Marcus) – Designed by Henri d’Origny in 1962, reissued for Neiman Marcus in 2007 to commemorate their 100 year anniversary (1907-2007)

Chevaux Arabes (Haras de Sa Majeste le Roi – Hassan II Bouznika) – Designed by Hugo Grygkar in 1951 and specially issued in 1994 to celebrate the inauguration of the Royal Stud Farm, the World Famous Stud Farm in Morocco.

Envol – Designed by Joachim Metz in 1995 for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. This design was issued as a “regular” scarf a year later and lacks the special UN tribute in the banner. More about this design in a previous blog post.


Not an “official” title or category, but more of a collectively recognized level of desirability and/or rarity. It is true that by the very own definition, a Special Issue and/or a Limited Edition might be a GRAIL scarf, neither, however, is necessarily a prerequisite.

This for example, is the case with both the (Les) Toits de Paris issues designed by father and son. Both scarves are considered GRAIL; the early design for being extremely rare and the second for its rarity, being highly coveted and a much loved design.

Please keep in mind that this category is rather subjective.

Le Toits de Paris HERMES Silk Scarf by Dimitri Rybaltchenko 2006 – personal collection
Toits de Paris Hermes carre designed by Vladimir Rybaltchenko in 1954 – Very Elusive and a GRAIL design – personal collection

It should also be noted that many times a Special Issue will also be a Limited Edition in that only a certain number of scarves were produced making that particular issue/design especially sought after among collectors.

Musee Schlumpf (Tuef-Teuf) designed by Philippe Ledoux in 1971 is an excellent example of exactly such a design as it is both a Limited Edition and a Special Issue design as only 1,475 scarves were ever issued. More in a previous blog post.

Other notable and exceptional designs that the Fashion House has added in recent years such as the double face Pani La Shar Pawnee (Double-face) for example and the Dip Dey versions that were introduced in 2009 should also be mentioned.

In closing, I would also like to say that labels such as rare, limited and special have at times been used perhaps mistakenly, and I am as “guilty” of that as anyone. This is many times simply due to either my lack of information available at the time or personal exuberance I “feel” for a special design. So I must apologize … I do have my favorites!

I would like to make a special note and express my profound gratitude for the incredible work of Genevieve Fontan, the author of the indispensable Carrés d’Art collection, who has enriched us with her vast knowledge and expertise! Merci beaucoup!

I thank you for reading my post as I hope it has provided more clarity on this subject matter.

Please feel free to comment should you wish to add to my ongoing learning and work in progress …

In 2006 on the centenary of the artist’s death, Hermès issued this LIMITED orange edition of the Promenade Au Pays Cezanne by Toutsy to benefit the LA SOCIÉTÉ PAUL CEZANNE.
Promenade Au Pays Cezanne Hermes carre by Toutsy (2009) – coming soon
Envol Hermes carre by Joachim Metz in 1995- both the regular (above) and UN Limited Edition
Armes de Monaco Deo Juvante Hermes carre designed by Hugo Grygkar (1958) – Special Edition in honor of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace Kelly – SOLD
L’Indomptable Hermes carre by Pierre Peron (1976) – Special Edition
Voltaire also referred to as Sanssoucy Hermes – Special Hommage a Jean-Louis Dumas Issue
Designed by Loïc Dubigeon and Jean Hubert Pinxit in 1994 

and without the special inscription below

Les Trois Mousquetaires Hermes carre by Philippe Ledoux & Vladimir Rybaltchenko (1981) – personal collection

Not just an exceptional design, this is both a GRAIL as well as SPECIAL ISSUE carre. Conceived by and representing three companies, Hermès, Sempé and Bacarrat the scarf was presented in a box with a Baccarat crystal bottle filled with vintage Armagnac.
Due to the untimely death of Philippe Ledoux, who completed most of the scarf, the design was finalized by his nephew, Vladimir

One thought on “Special Issue, Limited Edition and Grail Hermès Carrés – Explained

  1. Pingback: Panache & Fantaisie Vive la France – Exposition Française 1984 | Limited Edition Hermès© Carré – HERMES© Scarf Blog by Carre de Paris©

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