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Black Shoulder Bag

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Versace Vanitas Shoulder Bag
By Versace
Located in Gazzaniga (BG), IT
Fantastic Versace bag Plein and crossed leather Black color Fringed Golden trims and studs Golden Medusa on metals Zip closure Internal zip pocket Cm 40 x 30 (15.7 x 11.8) Original p...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Tote Bags

  • Versace Vanitas Shoulder Bag
  • Versace Vanitas Shoulder Bag
  • Versace Vanitas Shoulder Bag
  • Versace Vanitas Shoulder Bag
H 11.82 in. D 3.94 in. L 15.75 in.
Hermès Vintage Pola Purse Clutch Evening Bag 2 ways Black Ostrich Golden Hdw
By Hermès
Located in ., FR
Rare and Beautiful Authentic Hermès Purse "Pola" Made in France No stamp but vintage Made of Ostrich Leather and Golden Hardware Ostrich is it a resistant leather, and less sub...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Rare Limited Edition Metallic Bronze Large Brown Gold Boy Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Limited Edition Chanel Old Medium Rare Metallic Bronze Gold Boy Bag Year: 2017 Chanel Dark Brown Bronze Quilted Patent Leather Large Boy Flap Bag Patent Leather in gold Gold Hardwa...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

new CELINE Phoebe Philo black leather biker bag with silver grommets
By Phoebe Philo
Located in San Fransisco, CA
Black leather 'biker bag' with silver studs and yellow suede lining designed by Phoebe Philo exactly as seen on the Celine spring 2016 runway. Bag is very large. It measures approxim...
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2010s Shoulder Bags

VALENTINO GARAVANI 'Vavavoom' Bag in Green Python Leather
By Valentino, Valentino Garavani
Located in Paris, FR
Valentino Garavani 'Vavavoom' bag in green grass python leather and pale gold hardware. Worn on shoulder and crossbody. The pretty braided chain measures: 172 cm. It ends with 2 ca...
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2010s Shoulder Bags

Valentino Rockstud Lock Mini Bead Embellished Leather Shoulder Bag
By Valentino, Valentino Garavani
Located in London, GB
Valentino Mini Rockstud Bead Embellished Shoulder Bag. Black Leather Embellished With Beaded Body. Signature Pyramid Studs. Bordered With Gold Tone Studs. Gold Tone Hardware. Pushloc...
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21st Century and Contemporary Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

1998 Chanel All Black Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
Rare Chanel Collectible All Black bag in black lambskin leather and black hardware. Really good condition for a vintage bag, just some light signs of uses in the leather. Corners a...
Category

1990s Evening Bags and Minaudières

1974 Hermes Fonsbelle Black Crocodile Purse / Bag
By Hermès
Located in Paris, FR
Really nice hard to find Hermes 1974 5d in circle) Fonsbelle bag in nblack crocodile The strap can be doubled so It could be worn hand or shoulder ( just crossbidy for someone of sma...
Category

1970s Structured Shoulder Bags

Authentic Chanel Vintage Shoulder Bag Handbag
By Chanel
Located in Daylesford, Victoria
Early Authentic Chanel Handbag, Quilted Black Leather and Chrome trim to outer Zip, CC Logo tab; Inner Labels of “Chanel” and “R” (registered Mark), and also the “Made In Italy” in C...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

  • Authentic Chanel Vintage Shoulder Bag Handbag
  • Authentic Chanel Vintage Shoulder Bag Handbag
  • Authentic Chanel Vintage Shoulder Bag Handbag
  • Authentic Chanel Vintage Shoulder Bag Handbag
H 7.88 in. W 9.45 in. D 3.94 in.
Black Nylon Chanel Travel Line Bag with Brossbody strap
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
Chanel small nylon bag in logo canvas. Perfect for tarvelling, small and foldable Xith Crossbody Strap 2 zip compartiments Size 24x18 Really good condition just some light signs of wear
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Valentino Garavani Vintage Black nappa leather bow clutch purse / shoulder bag
By Valentino Garavani
Located in Kashiwa, Chiba
1990s. Vintage Valentino Garavani, Black nappa leather clutch purse, shoulder bag with tied bow, ribbon and V log motif at front. This is a vintage Valentino Garavani Black nappa le...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Vintage Celine black leather classic shoulder bag with golden logo closure.
By Celine
Located in Kashiwa, Chiba
1980s. Vintage Celine black leather classic shoulder bag with golden logo closure. Elegant purse back in the old era. Introducing another masterpiece from Celine, a classic black le...
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Authentic Black Chanel Camelia handbag bag purse
By Chanel
Located in Daylesford, Victoria
Authentic Chanel Black Camelia Clutch or Handbag, double interior, Zipped pocket to one, and in original Box. The Shoulder leather plaited shoulder chain can be folded to the inside,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

  • Authentic Black Chanel Camelia handbag bag purse
  • Authentic Black Chanel Camelia handbag bag purse
  • Authentic Black Chanel Camelia handbag bag purse
  • Authentic Black Chanel Camelia handbag bag purse
H 5.91 in. W 9.26 in. D 3.15 in. L 14.57 in.
Chanel Vintage Mini Lizard Logo Bag
By Chanel
Located in Paris, FR
Chanel vintage bag in black lizard and golden hardware Sold with card and hologram Size 16x11 cm
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

Authentic Black Large Chanel Caviar leather handbag bag
By Chanel
Located in Daylesford, Victoria
A Chanel Oyster Leather in Caviar finish, Black Handbag with Gilt trim and the large “CC” to the front. All in excellent, near new condition. The bag has an outer pocket to each end;...
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21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Prada Leather and Denil bag with Bakelite Hardware
By Prada
Located in Paris, FR
Prada Denim and leather axi bag with bakelite hardware. Really good condition, just some light signs of wear Dust bag and authentiticy card Size 36x22 cm
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Vintage Chanel Lambskin Jumbo Classic Flap Bag XL Black
By Chanel
Located in Hiroshima City, JP
Vintage Chanel jumbo classic flap bag in excellent vintage condition. Biggest classic in 2.55 Family. This vintage Chanel jumbo classic adds effortless cool to any outfit. Thanks to ...
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1990s Shoulder Bags

Vintage Hermes Black crocodile "Cordeliere" Shoulder Bag
By Hermès
Located in Paris, FR
Vintage nice Hermes Cordeliere bag in black crocodile Goood vintage condition ( just some light signs of use) Clasp signed Size 27*18
Category

1960s Top Handle Bags

Hermes Vintage Black Croco Vintage Shoulder Bag
By Hermès
Located in Paris, FR
Nice Vintage hermes bag in crocodile with golden hardware. Good vintage condition howenver it presents soome signs of use Bag from the 70's No Cites. So check your country regulatiio...
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1970s Top Handle Bags

Tom Ford Black Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
By Tom Ford
Located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna
Tom Ford shoulder flap bag in black leather with a big decorative zipper on the flap. The strap is removable. The bag comes with its dustbag and original tag.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Clutches

  • Tom Ford Black Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
  • Tom Ford Black Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
  • Tom Ford Black Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
  • Tom Ford Black Leather Shoulder Flap Bag
H 5.12 in. D 1.19 in. L 8.67 in.
Longchamp Vintage Shoulder bag with changeable black green and red flaps
By Longchamp
Located in Kashiwa, Chiba
1980s. Vintage Longchamp Shoulder Bag with changeable black, green, red flaps. For unisex use, daily bag. Introducing classic design shoulder purse but rare style from Longchamp bac...
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1980s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

New in Box Louis Vuitton Christmas Limited Edition Megeve Pouchette Bag
By Louis Vuitton
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Louis Vuitton limited edition Christmas 2019 mini pouchette. Monogram canvas with Megeve design. Comes with original dust cover and box.
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21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Hermes Black Evelyne TPM Shoulder Cross Body Messenger Bag
By Hermès
Located in New York, NY
Hermes Black Evelyne TPM Shoulder Cross Body Bag Brand New in Box. Store Fresh. Pristine Condition. Perfect gift! Coming in full set with shoulder strap, Hermes sleepers, and Hermes ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Cartier Black Leather Gold 2 in 1 Kelly Top Handle Satchel Shoulder Flap Bag
By Cartier
Located in Chicago, IL
Cartier Black Leather Gold 2 in 1 Kelly Top Handle Satchel Shoulder Flap Bag Leather Gold tone hardware Flip lock closure Woven lining Made in Italy Handle drop 4.25" Removable sho...
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21st Century and Contemporary Top Handle Bags

Vintage Paloma Picasso black shoulder bag with gold letter prints.
By Paloma Picasso
Located in Kashiwa, Chiba
1990s. Vintage Paloma Picasso black canvas and leather combo shoulder bag with golden A B C D E F and S T V X Y letter print. Here is another unique and fun vintage purse from Palom...
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1990s Shoulder Bags

Vintage Bottega Veneta black and white woven intrecciato shoulder bag. Tote bag.
By Bottega Veneta
Located in Kashiwa, Chiba
Excellent vintage condition. 1990s. Vintage Bottega Veneta intrecciato woven lambskin shoulder tote bag in black and white, monotone mosaic pattern. One-of-a-kind purse from the old ...
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1990s Tote Bags

Christian Louboutin Black Shoulder Bag
By Christian Louboutin
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Christian Louboutin Black Shoulder Bag. In excellent condition, Measurements: Height - 5.3 Inches Width - 14 Inches Height with Strap - 13 Inches
Category

1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

Etienne Aigner Leather Black Shoulder Bag
By Aigner
Located in Brindisi, Bt
Etienne Aigner vintage 70s shoulder bag. Black, 100% leather. Small model, clip closure, gold details. Made in France. Externally excellent conditions, some signs of use inside. Hei...
Category

1970s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Etienne Aigner Leather Black Shoulder Bag
  • Etienne Aigner Leather Black Shoulder Bag
  • Etienne Aigner Leather Black Shoulder Bag
  • Etienne Aigner Leather Black Shoulder Bag
H 6.3 in. W 5.91 in. D 1.58 in.
Chanel Patent Reissue Black Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
This reissue collection shoulder bag from Chanel comes in classic patent black with a golden chain. Mix of gold and ruthenium hardware. The shoulder drop is 12 inches and the bag can...
Category

2010s Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Patent Reissue Black Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Patent Reissue Black Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Patent Reissue Black Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Patent Reissue Black Shoulder Bag
H 7.5 in. W 4.5 in. L 11.5 in.
Gucci Dollar Calfskin Interlocking GG Small Black Shoulder Bag (510304)
By Gucci
Located in Montreal, Quebec
This shoulder bag is made from textured calfskin leather and features a waist-length shoulder strap in sliver tone and a front flap with an interlocking GG emblem. The flap opens to ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Shoulder Bags

Chanel 80s Black Vintage Leather Shoulder Chain Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel excellent vintage black shoulder bag, partially quilted. Gold tone hardware. Collection 1986/1988. Shoulder drop 13". Comes with hologram and original dust cover.
Category

1980s Shoulder Bags

Chanel 90s Black Large Vintage Leather Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Chanel authentic 90s very large black shoulder bag with gold tone hardware. Collection 1996. Front outer pocket and two zipped interior compartments. Shoulder drop 13". Comes with ho...
Category

1990s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Black Leather Small Chocolate Bar Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
This Chanel black shoulder bag is simply gorgeous! It has been beautifully crafted from leather and designed in their signature Chocolate Bar quilt with the famous CC logo on the fro...
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2010s Shoulder Bags

Gucci Black Canvas And Leather Guccissima Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
Simple, light, and classy. Gucci's black shoulder bag is a fine choice for days when you need just your essentials. Made from Guccissima canvas and leather, the bag has a shoulder ha...
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2010s Shoulder Bags

Chanel Classic Chain Me Around Single Flap Jumbo Maxi Cc Logo Black Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
Chanel Calfskin Chain Me Jumbo Flap Bag in Black. This single flap shoulder bag is made of calfskin leather - super thick and soft calfskin that is stitched in a diamond quilted we...
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2010s Crossbody Bags and Messenger Bags

Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag
Located in Alford, MA
Shoulder bag of black crocodile featuring an incised gold metal frame decorated with graduated black cabochons centering a larger one in a filigree mounting. Narrow croc shoulder st...
Category

1960s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag
  • Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag
  • Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag
  • Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag
H 6.5 in. W 8.5 in. D 2.5 in.
Chanel Black Canvas Shoulder bag
By Chanel
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This authentic Chanel Black Canvas Shoulder Bag is in excellent condition. Black canvas with tonally stitched interlocking CC and white leather reinforced corners. Substantial whit...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Hermès Black Box Shoulder Bag
By Hermès
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Vintage Hermès black leather shoulder bag with gold-plated hardware, leather interior and multiple interior pockets. Braided strap detaches to make the bag a clutch. Handle drop, 11...
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1990s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Hermès Black Box  Shoulder Bag
  • Hermès Black Box  Shoulder Bag
  • Hermès Black Box  Shoulder Bag
  • Hermès Black Box  Shoulder Bag
H 7 in. W 1 in. L 11 in.
Chanel Woman Shoulder bag Black
By Chanel
Located in Milan, IT
Shoulder bag, classic chain, single flap, eco-friendly fabric, solid color, engraved logo, braided, button fastening, gold-tone hardware, internal zipped pocket, leather lining, tass...
Category

Mid-20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

c.1970s Black Croc Convertible Shoulder Bag
Located in Alford, MA
This versatile vintage crocodile bag can be worn either as a shoulder bag, when the strap is fully extended, or as a handbag,when it is doubled; snaps secure it in place. The body of...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

  • c.1970s Black Croc Convertible Shoulder Bag
  • c.1970s Black Croc Convertible Shoulder Bag
  • c.1970s Black Croc Convertible Shoulder Bag
  • c.1970s Black Croc Convertible Shoulder Bag
H 7.25 in. W 10 in. D 2.25 in.
Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Black Calf leather Gucci shoulder bag with silver-tone hardware, single flat adjustable shoulder strap, tonal suede lining, open top with an attached zippered pouch. Designer: Gucci...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
  • Gucci Vintage Black Leather Shoulder Bag
H 6.5 in. W 10 in. D 3.5 in.
Moschino Black Velvet Shoulder Bag
By Moschino
Located in Brindisi, Bt
Moschino vintage 2000s bag. Shoulder bag, black, corduroy fabric. Baguette model with heart-shaped pockets on the front, one pocket on the back. Zip closure. Made in Italy. Conditio...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Moschino Black Velvet Shoulder Bag
  • Moschino Black Velvet Shoulder Bag
  • Moschino Black Velvet Shoulder Bag
  • Moschino Black Velvet Shoulder Bag
H 7.09 in. W 13.39 in. D 5.52 in.
Chanel Black quilted Miniature Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in New York, NY
Chanel miniature black lambskin quilted leather shoulder bag measures 5 1/2" in height, 7 1/4" in length, 2 1/2 in width. Leather straps measures 20 1/2" in height. The exterior ...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Chanel Black quilted Miniature Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Black quilted Miniature Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Black quilted Miniature Shoulder Bag
  • Chanel Black quilted Miniature Shoulder Bag
H 5.50 in. W 2.50 in. L 7.25 in.
Hermes Black Leather Sac Jypsiere Shoulder Bag
Located in Irvine, CA
Hermes Black Leather Sac Jypsiere Shoulder Bag with leather, silver-tone hardware, trim leather, interior slip pocket, suede lining, shoulder bag and snap closure. 330099MSC
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

GIVENCHY black leather SHARK MINI Shoulder Bag
By Givenchy
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Givenchy Shark Mini shoulder bag in black grained leather. Opens with a flap and turn-lock and is lined in black suede with one zipper and open pocket against the bac...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

PRADA black leather INSIDE MEDIUM Shoulder Bag
By Prada
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Prada Medium Inside bag in black smooth leather with a dirty rose leather inside bag and lining. The inner bag is joined through two folds to the outer, without any in...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Salvatore Ferragamo Black Wire Shoulder Bag RUNWAY
By Salvatore Ferragamo
Located in Philadelphia, PA
RARE RUNWAY SALVATORE FERRAGAMO black wire cage shoulder bag in excellent condition. Unique woven black wire cage exterior with a removable silver chain strap attached. Black rubber ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

Bally Black Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag
By Bally
Located in Paris, FR
Black Bally leather bag featuring a gold tone detail on front gold tone detail on the suede flap, an adjustable shoulder strap, a magnetic closure, an internal zipped pocket. In exc...
Category

Late 20th Century Structured Shoulder Bags

  • Bally Black Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag
  • Bally Black Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag
  • Bally Black Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag
  • Bally Black Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag
H 7.09 in. D 1.97 in. L 10.24 in.
Chanel Lunch Box Shoulder Bag in Black Gingham
By Chanel
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Picnic in style with this adorable novelty Chanel bag! Circa 2011, this Chanel lunch box bag is crafted from black canvas gingham and features the iconic CC logo, two zipper closures...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in London, GB
A great black bag by Gucci. The body of the bag is black Gucci fabric with logo woven in. It has black patent lower corners and handle, and an internal zip pocket. Serial number 001 ...
Category

Early 2000s Shoulder Bags

  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
H 14 in. W 11 in.
Chanel Matelasse Chain Flap Black Nylon Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Miami, FL
This shoulder bag features a nylon body, silver-tone chain straps, zip around detail, front flap with interlocking CC twist lock closure, top zip closure, exterior slip pocket and in...
Category

Early 2000s Structured Shoulder Bags

Chanel Mini Black Patent Leather Classic Shoulder Bag
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Chanel Mini Black Patent Leather Classic Shoulder Bag in excellent condition. Smooth black patent leather exterior trimmed with matte gold hardware. Signature woven chain and leather...
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2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Judith Leiber Vintage Black Alligator Shoulder Bag Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
STUNNING Judith Leiber Vintage Black Alligator Shoulder Bag Clutch in excellent condition. Black alligator leather exterior trimmed with a front black and gold sliding latch closure ...
Category

1980s Structured Shoulder Bags

JIL SANDER black leather CASE MEDIUM Shoulder Bag
By Jil Sander
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Jil Sanders' medium case shoulder bag in black calf leather (100%) is crafted in a box silhouette and topped with a single leather handle. Complete with an optional sh...
Category

2010s Structured Shoulder Bags

Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
By Gucci
Located in London, GB
A great black bag by Gucci. The body of the bag is black Gucci fabric with logo woven in. It has black patent lower corners and handle, and an internal zip pocket. Serial number 001 ...
Category

Early 2000s Shoulder Bags

  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
  • Black Gucci Shoulder Bag
H 14 in. W 11 in.
Chanel Black Pleated Leather Classic Flap Shoulder Bag
By Chanel
Located in Philadelphia, PA
STUNNING Chanel black leather classic flap shoulder bag in excellent condition. Pleated black leather upon top flap with diamond quilted leather throughout. gold chain shoulder stra...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

ALTUZARRA black leather & suede PLAY Shopper Shoulder Bag
By Altuzarra
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Altuzarra Play tote bag is made from black leather and suede with gold-tone metal buckles. Lined in pumpkin suede with one big zipper pocket against the back. Brand ne...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

DOLCE & GABBANA black leather MISS ROMANTIQUE Shoulder Bag
By Dolce & Gabbana
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Dolce & Gabbana Miss Romantique bag in black calfskin with details and trimming in patent leather. Opens with two magnetic buttons on top and is lined in black canvas ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER black leather SOFT SHOPPER Shoulder Bag
By Ann Demeulemeester
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Ann Demaulemeester shopper shoulder bag in black soft lambskin. Magnetic closure on top and lined in black canvas with two big zipper pockets and D ring. Has been carr...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

BOTTEGA VENETA black leather CHAIN POUCH Shoulder Bag
By Bottega Veneta
Located in Zürich, CH
100% authentic Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch bag in supple black calfskin leather with a chunky golden chain handle. Opens with a magnetic-tab fastening and is lined in black leather. H...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Structured Shoulder Bags

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Black Shoulder Bag For Sale on 1stDibs

Find the exact vintage or contemporary black shoulder bag you’re shopping for in the variety available on 1stDibs. Our collection includes a variety of colors, spanning Black, Gray, Brown and more. Finding the perfect black shoulder bag may mean sifting through those that were made during different time periods — popular versions were made as early as the 18th Century and a newer one, made as recently as the 21st Century, can also be found on the site. An accessory like this designed by Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton — each of whom created a beautiful version of this treasured item — is worth considering. If you’re browsing our inventory for these accessories, you’ll find that many are available today for women, but there are still pieces to choose from for men and unisex.

How Much is a Black Shoulder Bag?

On average, a black shoulder bag on 1stDibs sells for $2,036, while they’re typically $74 on the low end and $111,940 for the highest priced versions of this item.

Finding the Right Shoulder Bags for You

Ever since we’ve needed an accessory to carry our personal items when we’re on the go, shoulder bags have proven indispensable. Today, vintage and designer shoulder bags are such a treasured part of fashion history that they even get their own museum exhibitions.

Prior to bags becoming an essential piece of any ensemble for any gender, women wore pockets strung on ribbons as garments that were separate from their gowns, accessible by openings in the fabric. Small handbags and handheld purses were developed before the accessory gained importance as functional and fashionable. Most had more in common with wallets than anything else.

While the bags of the 16th century warranted ornament, such as exteriors embroidered with silver-gilt thread and beads, it wasn’t until the late 18th century and early 19th century that the design and craft of bags had really broadened. Handheld purses were finished with details that were meant to garner attention, and bags were fitted with shoulder straps. A stylish shoulder bag meant that women could tote jewelry, cash and perhaps a decorative snuff box full of tobacco to an evening ball across town.

The early 1900s saw the introduction of gold and silver minaudières. The patenting of these compact bejeweled clutches has been attributed to revered French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels, and today they remain a fashion favorite. One of Judith Leiber’s innovative minaudières even earned a role in the movie Sex and the City.

A luxury shoulder bag is a work of art with a long, fascinating origin story, and entire brands and fashion lines have emerged around creating the perfect versions of shoulder bags and top-handle bags. For example, the iconic Hermès Kelly bag, which was popularized by actress Grace Kelly, is a widely coveted, collected and often faked entry from the handbag hall of fame. And while vintage Gucci tote bags have their own dedicated fan base, collectors and lovers of luxury are likely familiar with the Dionysus, a pared-down Gucci shoulder bag that manages to make a substantial statement anyway.

Embrace a classic look with a vintage shoulder bag designed by Chanel, Givenchy or Fendi — find yours on 1stDibs today.