Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2016 Issue

Prada Offers a Handbag Inspired by Books


The Cahier from Prada (Prada photo).

Books have long inspired great thinkers – scholars, scientists, political leaders and such, for their text. The physical beauty of the finest books has similarly inspired many great artists. Now, books are also providing inspiration for handbags. Not just any handbags, mind you - Prada handbags. They don't come any finer or more prestigious than these. Recently introduced for the coming fall season is a handbag inspired by the finest of classic books. Prada calls it the Cahier, which is French for notebook. Those who demand the best will be carrying these handbags come fall, at least if Prada has its way.


Since this is not an ordinary handbag, it is not patterned upon an ordinary book. Prada describes it as "defined by elements inspired by ancient books or a precious private diary." The upper part of the bag, generally in a different color, is reminiscent of a book's spine. The front edge reminds us of a book's fore edge. The body of the bag is made from Saffiano leather, a form of leather invented by Mario Prada back in 1913. It forms what would be the covers. Looking like a feature of the most expensively bound old books, the bag contains bronze-colored metal corners and edge along the front.


Like the finest antiquarian books, the Cahier is not inexpensive. Prada, is, after all, the Kelmscott Press of handbags. It retails for $2,660. Intended for the fall/winter 2016 season, it is available now at select Prada stores and online.


The discriminating book collector wears Prada.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.

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