original-32 Gucci vintage black leather bamboo handbag with hand mirror


Following World War II, the artisans and designers at Gucci needed to look for new design materials, as goods in Europe were still under ration. In 1947, the designers at Gucci turned to bamboo cane, imported from Japan, as the material had no restriction on it.

Gucci-Craftsmen-in-Florence-1953 Gucci's workshop in 1953

To create the handle for the bag, Gucci's artisans first place the bamboo cane over a fire to heat it up in order to mould it into shape. As the bamboo heats up and softens, the craftsman manipulates the wood into the desired handle shape.

Liz Taylor (sac bambou Gucci) et Paul Newman sur le plateau du film La Chatte sur un toit brulant 1958 --- Liz Taylor and Paul Newman on set of film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958

After the handle has been created, the bamboo is then given that signature gloss lacquer, which comes from insects. The handle is then 'toasted' to a golden-brown color, giving each piece its unique tone and look.

original-28 Gucci vintage ostrich leather handbag. Crafted from tan ostrich leather, featuring a large bamboo top bar

original-31 Gucci bamboo Horsebit bangle

In the 1950s and 60s, the bag was coveted by fashionistas around the globe, adorning the arms of Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor. In the Spring Summer 2010 collection, Gucci's then Creative Director Frida Giannini presented 'The New Bamboo' a modern update of the signature bag.

original-29 Gucci burgundy leather bamboo handle handbag with hand mirror

Gucci mini leather bamboo handbag Gucci mini leather bamboo handbag


The ''New Bamboo'' was made up of 140 pieces, all of which are put together by an artisan in Gucci's Florentine workshop, the same way it first would have been crafted in 1947. Each bag take 13 hours of work to complete.

All pieces will be a featured in Fellows' Designer Collection auction on November 20, 2017. The following day, their Antiques & Collectables auction will also take place. Check out more here.