A Tale of Two Taupes – Vintage AWL Dooney & Bourke

One of the most popular All Weather Leather colors in the vintage Dooney & Bourke (Made in USA) line of handbags and wallets was Taupe.

Look how these two bags in taupe look so different with their respective trims.

If your eyes are like mine, the taupe in the bag with the Burnt Cedar trim looks very brown !

While the taupe with the British Tan trim almost looks a little brighter and rosier!

They are both the same taupe – Its a trim trick !

Vintage Belt Bag Style B700 Taupe with Burnt Cedar trim

Vintage Belt Bag
Style B700 Taupe with Burnt Cedar trim

Vintage Belt Bag Style R700 Taupe with British Tan trim

Vintage Belt Bag
Style R700 Taupe with British Tan trim

Paula

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Maxi Week at Horsekeeping’s Dooney & Bourke Store

This week we rounded up all the big boys or girls as it were – everything from totes to briefcases to shoppers – the big daddies that hold tons of stuff. So here they are:

1114-R41-shoppingtote-navybt-1

R 41 Shopping Tote

1115-R12-legal-brief-bt-1

R12 Legal Brief British Tan

1118-P12-legal-brief-black-1

P 12 Legal Brief Black

1117-P307-bucket-sm-black-1

P 307 Small Bucket Bag from the Metro Collection

Paula

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Bought at a high-end thrift store for $9 – is it an authentic Dooney & Bourke?

Hi Paula,

I bought a Dooney & Bourke purse at a thrift shop for $9. I’m fairly certain it’s authentic. I’ve been reading online on your website about how to tell if a Dooney & Bourke purse is authentic. The thrift store is very close to the wealthiest part of town (actually near the wealthiest part of the state) and most donations come from that area.

Would appreciate a 2nd opinion on it!!
Even if its fake, I will get my $9 out of it. 🙂
Thank you for your time!
Andrea

photo 1 photo 2Oh yeah Andrea,

Even from these two photos, it is easy to see that this is an authentic Dooney & Bourke bag from the Vintage Collection.

This came in several sizes, the regular size which this one appears to be, and is called the Vintage Satchel. There is also a Vintage Mini Satchel and a larger version called a Vintage Shoulder Satchel.

Here is a Mini at 10″ x 6″ x 5″

862-B710-vintage-mini-wheatcedar-1And here is the Vintage Shoulder Satchel at 12 3/4″ x 8 1/4″ x 5″

865-B721-vintage-shoulder-navycedar-1

If yours is 11 3/4″ long x 7″ high and 5 3/4″ deep, then it is the Vintage Satchel which retailed in 1996 for $295. It has Burnt Cedar Trim so its product number is B729

Those loops at either end are where you would attach the shoulder strap so you could use this as a shoulder bag, cross body bag or carry it with its handles like a satchel.

Good find !

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

Paula Can you Help Me Choose a Purse?

Hi Paula,

I would like your assistance in assessing purse sizes. I know you have all the dimensions written down on your website, I am a very visual person and my brain is getting boggled comparing the numbers. You have hands on experience with the bags.

Will you name a couple of bags that are the largest overall, while being narrowest at the base? I do not care for a purse that sticks out from my body a great deal and a 6″ base it too much for me. It is hard to choose a purse without being able to put it on so to speak. It has to “fit”/carry in a way that I like and be comfortable.

I so love the look of the vintage Dooney’s and am looking to purchase one eventually.

Thank-you!

Cheri

Hi Cheri

Really the best way to find what would work for you is to go to a dept store and find a bag that is the perfect size for you and measure it. It is hard for me to know what is comfortable for you as far as fit and carry.
But here is a style that is large, roomy and 3” deep, you can also carry it with a handle.
Bone and British Tan Carrier

Bone and British Tan Carrier

There are many other color combos

570-R701-shoulder-firbt-front

Fir and British Tan Carrier

This is a larger purse, one of our most popular, 3 1/2 inches at the base, other colors available
Black and British Tan Shoulder Satchel

Black and British Tan Shoulder Satchel

And here is another to look at
Bone and British Tan Cavalry Saddle Bag

Bone and British Tan Cavalry Saddle Bag

And if you really want big, we have totes and briefcases !!
All British Tan Legal Brief

All British Tan Legal Brief

Happy browsing.
Paula
Thank-you Paula! This information is very helpful. I think the shoulder satchel would be the best fit for me. Are the handles actually long enough to wear the purse on the shoulder with the purse tucked under the arm? The handle drop measurement on your website lists 6″. That may be to short for carrying it like that??
Thanks!
Cheri
Hello Cheri,
I just got out 3 of the shoulder satchels and yes they all measure a 6” drop from the inside top of the handle to the zipper. I am a 5’7” average sized woman wearing summer clothes and the bag slips on my shoulder fine and tucks under my arm. However for a larger person or with winter clothes, it might be less quick and easy to slip on and off but it would be secure once it got there !!
That’s what Dooney & Bourke designed these to be – that’s why the handles on the Shoulder Satchels are  longer than their normal satchels which are intended to be carried by hand.
Paula

Dooney & Bourke All Weather Leather Zipalong Coin Purse

          The Dooney & Bourke All Weather Leather Zipalong Coin Purse is highly sought after and collectible.

W53 Zipalong Coin Purse

W53 Zipalong Coin Purse

It’s signature feature is the huge leather duck on the front. The duck is like a piece of relief art  – just gorgeous those ducks !

WB53 Zipalong Coin Purse - Burnt Cedar

WB53 Zipalong Coin Purse – Burnt Cedar

Designed as a coin purse but big enough for a few extras, you can almost use this as a tiny purse, especially since it comes with a handy wrist strap.

A divided coin pocket could easily house bills or keys

A divided coin pocket could easily house bills or keys

Note the handy wrist strap

Note the handy wrist strap

Heavy metal zipper

Heavy metal zipper

Like most AWL Dooneys these coin purses are available in a wide variety of colors. Here are just a few.

Peanut

Peanut

Olive Khaki

Olive Khaki

Fir

Fir

Taupe

Taupe

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Dooney & Bourke Original All Weather Leather Bags – Trim Designation

Dooney & Bourke Bag Trim Designation

©  2010 http://www.horsekeeping.com

There are 3 main trim colors on original AWL Dooney & Bourke handbags.

  • British Tan trim is designated by R in front of the bag’s number.

  • This includes British Tan with British Tan trim.

Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag

Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag

  • Burnt Cedar trim is designated by B in front of the bag’s number.
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag
  • Matching trim (only available with black, navy and red bags) is designated by P in front of the bag’s number.
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag
  • Exceptions to the above include the Plaza Bag, the Zipalongs, and Kilties which came in all nineteen colors with tan trim AND all nineteen colors with matching trim.
Dooney and Bourke Kilty Bag
  • In addition to the classic collection colors and trims, there are 18 Teton color combinations that consist of 3 colors each: the base color or colors, the pinking (jagged edge), and the trim.
Dooney and Bourke Backpack