What can you tell me about my $7 bag?

Hi Paula,
I recently developed a fascination with Dooney & Bourke bags after getting a duck bag for Christmas. One day I went to my local swap-meet and found a Dooney & Bourke bag for $7.00 dollars I was not sure whether to buy it or skip it, I figured if it was fake I only paid seven dollars. I did some research on the bag on one of your pages and I think I might have a authentic bag. From the research I did I think I have a (AWL) drawstring bag from the early 1980’s. The bag has a solid brass fob with a stylized backward D and A, all the stitching is one color a soft yellow and all the hardware is brass, no discoloration on it. The bag feel’s good and thick, what I am concerned about is that the bag has no registration tag inside. Also the inside has no pockets the inside material is like a suede or something. I hope you can help me out figure it out.
 
Thank you,
Maggie
Front of AWL bagD&BDuckBottomInside of bag 2
Front of bag
HI Maggie,
Good going girl ! For $7 you did indeed purchase an older drawstring bag, made before the red, white and blue labels were sewn inside.
I’ve never seen the counterfeiters able to duplicate the quality and workmanship of an authentic Dooney and I don’ think any of them have attempted the padded strap !
I thought both of your leather keepers were missing but then I saw one slid up by the strap.
Although you didn’t send dimensions, yours is probably the Small Drawstring. Here is an example of a Medium Drawstring and when you click on the photo, it will take you to a page with more photos and details including showing the keepers I was talking about.
Paula
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Paula – I bought this Outback bag for a song – did I do good?

Hi Paula!

I really appreciate and enjoyed learning about D&B bags looking at your site. It is very helpful and informative, thank you!
I am writing because I recently purchased a bag which appears to be a Medium Double Pocket Outback bag. I got it for a song so am of course skeptical. I am no bag expert but with the help of your site I was able to deduce the name of the bag. I also compared it to the checklists for authenticity and it came out pretty well. I do not have the fob but the accents (brass, stitching, etc.) and material seem correct. The ducks eye has a rather small looking pupil though, and I the interior pockets (there are the correct number of them) are not made of leather. The interior zipper pull is Talon brand as well, not the ‘riri’. The interior sticker says R35 ST 80394346 and the bag is tan on tan.
I would very much appreciate any help you could offer at authenticating the bag. I think its a real stumper!
Thanks for all that you do,
Sasha
back of tag Bag Back Bag Front Duck Emblem front pocket detail interior sticker under interior pocket tag

Paula,

Thank you for taking the time to look at this bag. Please let me know if additional pictures would help you discern the bag’s quality. I bought this bag at a thrift store and am hoping that I found an amazing deal. Thanks again!!
-Sasha
Hi Sahsa,
You did good girl !! This is indeed authentic and a highly coveted model plus it is in a color that usually shows its wear – yours looks in pretty darn good shape.
You wondered about the interior pockets – you thought they should be made of leather. Actually most Dooneys have this type of snap, zip, credit card pocket combos and they are made from a Dooney & Bourke proprietary fabric-backed vinyl with a grain texture to look like leather. So you are OK there.
The riri zipper is only on certain models – your zipper for your interior pocket is fine.
The fact that the fob is missing is not such a big deal. What’s great is that the tag is there and unsnipped.  And it still has the sticker on the back side of the pocket.
The R35 is the model number and the ST stands for Saddle Tan. At first when you look at your bag you might think “All British Tan” but on closer examination, you can see that the British Tan Trim is a lighter color than the AWL of the main body of the purse. So your bag has the R designation which means a color of AWL (in this case Saddle Tan) with British Tan trim.
Here’s a similar bag we sold that you can click on to see all the specs.
354-outback-double-med-bonebt-frontThere was a line of 6 Outback bags, each with the characteristic molded front pocket (or pockets) and the turned solid brass toggle and braided leather cord loop. Here is the R34 Medium Single Pocket.
617-misc-outback-blbt-front
Enjoy your great find !! Paula

Dooney & Bourke Zipper Clutch R20

Hello! I just found your wonderful website and blog, and am hoping you can help me identify my Dooney & Bourke bag. It was a gift in the 1980s, and it looks very similar to the vintage Zipper Clutch you have on your site. It is all-weather leather, black and tan, with a “Dooney & Bourke, Inc. Made in U.S.A.” tag inside, with the number A1759857 on the other side of the tag. It has a outer pocket/sleeve on each side. I haven’t used it for years, and in cleaning out my closet, came across it and got curious about it. If you have time, may I send you photos?
Thank you,
Pamela

Dooney-1 Dooney-2 Dooney-3 Dooney-4 Dooney-5 Dooney-6

Thank you! I know how busy you are, and I appreciate it.
Pertinent details:
1. Bag was received as a gift in the late 1980s (I’m too old to remember exact year!).
2. Bag is black and tan, all-weather leather (black leather is pebbled, tan is smooth).
3. Bag dimensions are approx. 10 3/4 inches long x 7 inches tall x 2 1/2 inches deep (measuring across bottom).
4. Bag has a metal zipper (pull tab on zipper says “Dooney & Bourke”), two outer pockets/sleeves (one on each side), two inside pockets/sleeves (one zippered with a metal zipper; the other open but with a leather tab that closes over a metal button).
5. The strap is quite long and attaches on each side of the purse to brass D-rings; the straps are removable.
6. Hardware – the zippers (inner and outer) are metal, and the purse hardware is brass; there is a fob with the duck logo that says “Dooney & Bourke All-Weather Leather,” and the grommets or rivets that attach the straps to the body of the purse also say (very tiny) “Dooney Bourke.”
7. Label – the label says “Dooney & Bourke, Inc. Made In U.S.A.” (label itself is white-ish, letters are blue, and they are surrounded by a red border); the back of the label says A1759857.
Any info. you can provide would be great and most appreciated!
Thanks,
Pam

Hi Pam,

Yes this is an authentic Zipper Clutch R20 and in great shape !

Paula

Can you help me date this Dooney & Bourke bag?

Hi Paula,

I’ve been reading your website and hoping you could help me. I purchased a vintage Dooney and while I’m confident it’s authentic, I’m hoping to try to find a date for it. It is an all-brown A6 zip top shoulder bag and in impeccable condition!! I’ve read a few articles, specifically about the zipper, that lead me to believe it’s rarer than some others of the same style.

The zipper is a small round zipper, circular with a hole in the middle, and reads “riri.” I can’t find a date of production but I found an article stating these bags are rare. Can you confirm that?

The inner tag reads A6 254983 on the underside and I was also hoping you could help me date it using the numbers.

Thank you in advance,

Brooke

3 4 5 6 7 photo1 photo2Hi Brooke,

First of all, I have never heard of a Dooney & Bourke bag with the number A6.

Nor of one with the name “Zip Top Shoulder Bag”. Dooney & Bourke names are very specific and while there are Zip-Top bags and Shoulder Satchels, I don’t know of a “Zip Top Shoulder Bag”.  If you could provide the source for your information, it would be interesting.

Your “all brown” bag has the official Dooney & Bourke color designations of

Saddle Tan with British Tan trim.

Your bag is an R719 Vintage Zipper Case. This bag first appeared in 1996 as far as I know. It had a name change to Large Zip-Top (keeping the same number) sometime between 1996-1999. Here is an example of a bag just like yours. You can click on the photo to see all details.

770-R719-ziptop-bonebt-1As far as zippers, the riri zippers are made with heavy metal teeth and tabs and the only R719 bags I have seen have all had the metal riri zipper. Similar Dooney bags, such as the Classic Zip Top, do have plastic zippers.  Can you provide the URL for the article about the rarity of the metal zippers – it might be interesting to other Dooney enthusiasts.

As far as the date of manufacture, your bag is part of the “Vintage Collection” which first appears in my Holiday 1996 catalog. It might have been released before then but not before Summer 1994. It does not appear in the Summer 1994 catalog or any catalogs prior to that date. The Summer 1994 only shows the Classic Zip Top bags with the duck seal sewn onto the bag in the conventional fashion like this. Click on this photo to see more about the Classic Zip Top.

887-R19-zipclutch-ivybt-1

If you want to find out when and where your bag was manufactured, using the registration number, you will need to contact Dooney & Bourke customer service. Depending on who you get on the phone, you may or may not find the answer to your question. When I call, I get the feeling the employees are better versed in the new bags being made in China than the vintage bags. Some don’t seem to know how to access the historic databases.

Their website is Dooney & Bourke where you will find their contact information.

Best of luck in your further research and please share anything you find.

And YES, you got a GREAT bag!!!

Paula

Paula

What is this little Dooney & Bourke bag called?

Hi Paula,

I recently picked up an AWL Dooney & Bourke purse in what I think is pretty good shape. It caught my eye at the thrift store on half price day, plus it has all of the identifiers of a legitimate D&B AWL. You seem like a very knowledgeable person and I’d love it if I could send you some pictures so that you could take a look and maybe tell me some more about it? At any rate, your website already helped me to know what to look for when I was deciding whether or not to buy it.

Thanks,
Kate

picture128 picture160 picture161 picture164 Hi Kate,

Your cute little Dooney & Bourke bag is called “The Little Bag” R133 and is indeed authentic.

6 1/2″ tall by 6 1/2″ wide and 2 1/5″ deep at the base.

Although the shoulder strap is adjustable, it is not removable like most other Dooney & Bourke vintage All Weather Leather bags.

It has one slip pocket on the inside and one on the outside on the back.

Brass arrowhead push button closure on the front.

The original retail price of this bag was $98.

Made in the USA – yeah !!!

Yours looks in good condition and has a nice FOB and unsnipped tag. Way to go girl !

Paula

Maroon Dooney & Bourke bag with green label inside

Hi Paula,
I have a maroon with tan trim all weather bag but I can’t find one exactly like it on your site. One is close the R 51 Marble except mine has the green patch inside the same as you have shown but no red white & blue tag. Mine also is bigger 10″ wide x 6 1/2″ tall and 3 3/4″ deep. Also on my over & under the leather stripe down the front is not there just the leather and metal fastener. The inside looks exactly like the ones you have posted and it is maroon inside also. Any information you can give me would be helpful.
Dana
vintage d&b 002 vintage d&b 004 vintage d&b 006 vintage d&b 007 vintage d&b 014Hi Dana,
This looks like it was a very early model due to:
the green label
the double adjustable shoulder strap
the flat duck
and the unusual fastening tab on the front. It almost looks like a prototype. In the early days it seems like they tried many different shapes, closures, hardware, straps, snaps and interior pockets.
Back in the days this bag was made, there were no catalogs, or at least I have never seen any. So I can’t really tell you much about this bag except that it is a cousin to these two bags, one of which you might have already seen on our website. You can click on the photos to see more about them. They have some similar features to your bag but I’ve never seen one with the closure your bag has.
693-R50-rouge-brown-front 693-R50-rouge-brown-label eq150-front eq150-label
Maybe another reader of this blog will have more information.
Paula

Paula, Is this a real or fake Dooney & Bourke?

Message: Hi Paula, I love your website and blog. I was recently at a consignment shop and purchased this advertised Dooney and Bourke, AWL blue and tan XL travel bag. The zipper pull is metal, has a Dooney and Bourke makers mark on it…. There is no tag on the inside, and the DB mark is not on the oval tan label on the front of the bag. Is this an early DB? The bag also had the lock with it to secure the zipper locked during travel. It is in a Dooney and Bourke box and it has the Old Norwalk address……and it says the lock was made in China…………the pieces on the bag are brass,,,,,the bag was missing the strap(BOO) and there was a small mark inside the bag that shows a small spill. The bag is quite large….it measures 20″ x 14″ x 9 inches wide in the side panels.Can you please help me identify if this is a “real DB”…..
THANKS SO VERY MUCH.
Kim

DB

db lock and key_1

Hi Kim,

The dimensions you mention are similar to the Dooney Gladstone Duffel Bag R93 that sold for $775 in 1994………

Here is a previous blog about an authentic Gladstone Duffel.

I will point out some concerns I have about your bag.

I have never seen a Dooney oval with out the duck.

no duckThe stitching on the handle looks rough.

odd stitching

The stitching overall is not up to Dooney quality and standards.

db2_1

However, there is the Dooney name on the zipper pull which is a positive.

db 5And the interior pocket looks correct which is often not duplicated by counterfeiters.

dbinbetter_1

So…………my opinion is that it COULD be a knock-off or authentic. If it is authentic, then it is an imperfect that was probably sold at an outlet store at a greatly reduced price. Often outlet stores remove or snip the inside tags so the bag can not be registered with Dooney & Bourke. Although it really bothers me that there is no duck seal on the bag, there are many other features about the bag that look authentic, so I’m leaning toward this having been a defective bag sold at an outlet store without registration tag.

If it were a knock off, most counterfeiters would for sure have added a leather duck seal, so it seems more like a “second” than a fake.