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Judith Leiber

American, 1921-2018

When it comes to handbags, no designer can compete with Judith Leiber’s (1921–2018) ability to create magic using opulent crystals and wildly imaginative and playful shapes. The Hungarian-born designer made minaudières (small, decorative handbags, often without handles or a strap) in the form of crystal-covered swans, cupcakes, lipstick, wads of cash, teddy bears and other delightful objects. These dazzling objets d’art have been regularly seen in the hands of First Ladies, movie stars on the red carpet and even in the prestigious collections of institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Like many pathbreaking inventions in the history of design, Leiber’s minaudières were the result of a happy accident. In 1967, she began working on her first metal handbag. The piece in question was named the Chatelaine, and the design was a graceful drop-shaped purse in gold-tinted metal. But when the samples came in, Leiber saw that the bottom of the bag looked greenish and discolored as a result of the plating process. She had the ingenious idea of applying crystal rhinestones to the base to cover up the flaws. The dazzling bag was a huge success and would become her trademark.

Born Judith Peto in Budapest, Leiber overcame many hardships before her breakthrough. At the start of World War II, she was working at the Pessl handbag company in Budapest where she quickly climbed the ranks to become a master craftswoman. When the war escalated, she and her Jewish family were forced by the Nazis to live in a cellar of a ghetto, and several of her relatives were killed in concentration camps. “I designed handbags in my head to get through the misery,” she said. After the liberation of Budapest, she married Gerson “Gus” Leiber, an American GI, and moved to New York. In 1948, she began working for the fashion house Nettie Rosenstein. One of her first major pieces was the handbag embroidered with glittering rhinestones and pearls carried by Mamie Eisenhower at the 1953 inaugural ball. In 1963, she finally set up her own company.

Leiber’s whimsical designs embellished with Swarovski crystals and semiprecious stones defied traditional notions of luxury handbags. She also created striking clutches and bags with leather and fine textiles from around the world. In her 65-year career, she designed over 3,500 bags, which have been worn by First Ladies including Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush, pop icons like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner (who collects Leiber’s handbags). In 2005, the Leiber Collection Museum opened in East Hampton, New York, as a permanent space to showcase her work. The minaudières remain coveted objects celebrated worldwide for their eclectic beauty and glamorous charm.

The value of a good handbag cannot be overstated — find a collection of vintage Judith Leiber handbags and other fashion accessories today on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Judith Leiber
Judith Leiber Crossbody Karung Crystal 16mz0724 White Lizard Skin Leather
By Judith Leiber
Located in Dix hills, NY
Measurements: Length: 7.5" Width: 1.5" Height: 6.7" Shoulder strap drop: 20" OVERALL GOOD CONDITION ( 7/10 or B ) Signs of Wear: Exterior: creases, dents on the bag due to sto...
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20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Purple Ombre Evening Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Annapolis, MD
This bag features silver and tonal purple swarovski crystals, gold-tone hardware, a push lock clasp and a detachable rope chain. It comes new with tags, originally priced at $1,700.0...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Green and Blue Reptile Leather Clutch Bag, 1986
By Judith Leiber
Located in Boca Raton, FL
Creativity is certainly a defining feature of Judith Leiber bags. From rhinestone encrusted sculptural pieces, to hand-decorated leathers in unconventional color combinations, Judith...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Mini Dog Pillbox
By Judith Leiber
Located in Annapolis, MD
The sweetest accessory to have in your bag, gold-tone metal body in the shape of a bulldog covered in Swarovski crystals. Condition: Good used condition. Exterior: Some loose and...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Ivory Lizard Compartment Purse with Gold Chain Handles, 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in Tucson, AZ
"And though she be but little, she is fierce," said Shakespeare. With a whopping seven interior compartments AND a matching coin purse in an 8" package, this handbag might have been ...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Vintage Roman Soldier Cameo Swarovski Crystal Minaudiere Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
BEAUTIFUL Vintage Judith Leiber Swarovski crystal minaudiere clutch in very good condition. Silver and gray swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with silver hardware and front gray rom...
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1980s Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER Brushed Metal Evening Purse with Stone Details Optional Strap
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Judith Leiber evening purse is composed of a silver tone metal with brushed detailing and stone accents at the corners. In excellent condition, comes with original comb, mirror,...
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20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Natural Grey Python Snakeskin Shoulder Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
GORGEOUS Judith Leiber Natural Grey Python Snakeskin Shoulder Bag in excellent condition. Natural grey python snakeskin exterior trimmed with gunmetal hardware, maroon stones and pe...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black JLP Black Silver Minaudiere Clutch Double sided New with Tag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Wallkill, NY
Judith Leiber Monogram Hinged Hard Shell Clutch JLP Double sided Black and Silver crystals. Measuring 3.5 H x 6 W x 1 3/4 D 50 inch chain. New with Tags. Be sure to check our store ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Satin Clutch with Butterfly Closure
By Judith Leiber
Located in Carmel by the Sea, CA
Gorgeous Judith Leiber clutch featured in a blue red satin fabric with a slightly ruched opening. There are three separate compartments with the center compartment including one zipp...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Goldtone Cat Keychain
By Judith Leiber
Located in Miami Beach, FL
Judith Leiber goldtone metal cat keychain with a silvertone ribbon. Marked: Judith Leiber. Chain: 4.75"L. Charm: 1.5"L x 0.75"W x 1"H.
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Vintage Silver and Gray Swarovski Crystal Sitting Duck Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
GORGEOUS JUDITH LEIBER swarovski crystal sitting duck minaudiere in excellent vintage condition. Gray and silver swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with silver hardware. Lifting styl...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Dazzling Judith Leiber Crystal Minaudiere Evening Clutch With Honeycomb Design
By Judith Leiber
Located in Tustin, CA
Meet a clutch with real icon status! This timeless and elegant hand made couture designer Judith Leiber rectangular shaped honeycomb pattern minaudiere evening bag or clutch has roun...
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Early 2000s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Massive Figural Gilt Metal Door Knocker Medallion Belt c 1960s
By Judith Leiber
Located in University City, MO
Judith Leiber Opulent massive figural gilt metal door knocker medallion leather belt c 1960s The incredible belt is designed with a huge scale gilt metal articulated medallion The hu...
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1960s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Multicolor Swarovski Crystal Leather Minaudiere Box Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Dubai, Al Qouz 2
Judith Leiber has created this fashionable accessory using Swarovski crystal and textured leather. The blue box clutch opens to a leather interior that is secured by a silver-tone lo...
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2010s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Pink Swarovski Crystal Minaudière Clutch Evening Bag Purse
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A Judith Leiber pink minaudière evening purse entirely covered with pink Swarovski crystals. Features gold tone metal trim, a hinge-top opener/clasp and gold leather lined interior....
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Gold & Clear Swarovski Crystal Casket Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
BEAUTIFUL JUDITH LEIBER Swarovski crystal casket minaudiere in excellent vintage condition. Gold exterior trimmed with clear swarovski crystals in the signature "casket" style. Push...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Oval Bow Trim Minaudiere Evening Bag Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
BEAUTIFUL Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Oval Bow Trim Minaudiere Evening Bag Clutch in excellent condition. Clear Swarovski crystal exterior in an oval shape surrounded by crystal ...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Crystal Jeweled Frog Minaudière c 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in University City, MO
Judith Leiber Endearing crystal jeweled minaudiere' evening bag c 1980s The beguiling frog is encrusted with elaborate tiny glittering diamante crystals. Adorned with green glass c...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Turtle Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Turtle Minaudiere in excellent condition. Silver Turtle shape trimmed with black grey silver and clear swarovski crystals. Top shell covered in crysta...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Vintage Judith Leiber Pink Gold Python Snakeskin 007 James Bond Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Golden Python Snakeskin 007 James Bond Bag in very good condition. golden metallic python with peachy pink shades. Gold hardware throughout. rose quartz cabochons at bo...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black Swarovski Crystal Minaudiere Evening Bag Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
BEAUTIFUL Judith Leiber Black Swarovski Crystal Minaudiere Evening Bag Clutch in excellent condition. Black swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with gold hardware and pearl top push b...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black Alligator Mini Evening Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Black Alligator Mini Evening Bag in excellent condition. Black alligator exterior trimmed with a crystal silver top button closure. Black silk interior with one slit si...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Silver Rhinestone Bunny Rabbit Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Palm Beach, FL
This Judith Leiber minaudiere has different tones of silver rhinestones with purple stone eyes on silver metal. It is in the shape of a bunny rabbit and has a longer crossbody strap ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER Nude to Brown Ombre Lizard Skin Purse Gold Straps
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Judith Leiber purse is composed of a nude to brown ombre lizard skin. Features an interior gold frame with two side pockets. There is an interior pocket and two slide pockets. C...
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20th Century Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER Vintage Rare 1960's Black and Gold Patent Leather Petite Purse
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Judith Leiber handbag is composed of a black patent leather with gold tone hardware. It is a very rare 1960's design featuring turn style closures with an exterior pocket. There...
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20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Gold Frame Tiger Eye Lizard Clutch Shoulder Bag 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Judith Leiber gold frame, tiger eye stone clasp pale taupe lizard clutch or shoulder bag from the 1980s. Hidden gold flat chain strap, the bag is lined in gold faille. Interior zippe...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Rabbit Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Rabbit Minaudiere in excellent condition. Unique and rare rabbit shape with silver cyrstal body, smooth gold face, and gold crystal ears on top. Red c...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Small Red Alligator Handbag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
BEAUTIFUL Judith Leiber Small Red Alligator Handbag in excellent condition. Red alligator leather exterior trimmed with gold hardware and a top glass gemstone closure. Red satin inte...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Gold Swarovski Crystal Evening Bag Minaudiere Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Gold Swarovski Crystal Evening Bag Minaudiere Clutch in excellent condition. Gold swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with a top button closure that opens to a gold lea...
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2010s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Quilted Champagne Silk Bag with Faux Coral Clasp, 1980's
By Judith Leiber
Located in University City, MO
Highly unusual Judith Leiber champagne silk handbag with trapunto embroidery forming wavelike rows that give this piece an interesting quilted effect. The closure is truly remarkabl...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Exquisite Crystal Encrusted Figural Woman Minaudière circa 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in University City, MO
Judith Leiber Exquisite crystal encrusted figural woman minaudiere' The opulent gilt metal figural evening bag is designed with an elegant woman's head. Encrusted with contiguous row...
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Floral Patchwork Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Elevate your look with this amazing Leiber! Circa 1970s, this bag features a gorgeous floral patchwork motif with colorful rhinestone embellishing with a black rhinestoned top closur...
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1970s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black Satin Crossbody Bag with Gold Infinity Chain
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Judith Leiber crossbody bag Black satin with diamond thread pattern Hidden gold snap closure Gold rhinestone infinity chain strap Black satin lining Inner card slot and zippered ...
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Rabbit Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Carmel by the Sea, CA
Judith Leiber minaudiere features a floral pattern on a bunny rabbit metal frame encrusted in multicolored swarovski crystals and a top push-clasp closure. Optional chain handle and ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Rare Vintage Judith Leiber Crystal Chantelaine Minaudiere Production Sample
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Rare Vintage Judith Leiber Crystal Chantelaine Minaudiere in excellent condition. Gold coin purse shape body with black crystals along the top edge and silver, grey and black along t...
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1990s Judith Leiber

Limited Edition Judith Leiber Rachel Zoe Python Medusa Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Limited Edition Judith Leiber Rachel Zoe Python Medusa Bag in very good condition. Purple python exterior trimmed with maroon leather, matte gold hardware and elastic side pockets. D...
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Early 2000s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Floral Minaudiere with Tassel Rope
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
GORGEOUS Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Floral Print Minaudiere with Tassel Rope in excellent condition. Multicolor floral print swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with a yellow go...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Evening Bag Pink Reptile Pleat Clutch Shoulder Bag + Accessories
By Judith Leiber
Located in Port Saint Lucie, FL
Authentic, preowned Judith Leiber evening bag minaudière, likely made in the mid 2000s. Made from exotic pleated Salmon-hued pink reptile skins, giving the bag a unique textural app...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Large Black Crocodile Purse with Snap Top
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Judith Leiber Large Black Crocodile Purse with Snap Top. In Excellent condition, This hand bag or tote can be used for carrying laptop, iPad as well. VERY RARE Measurements: Heig...
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1990s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Vintage Mini Green Alligator Clutch Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Vintage Mini Green Alligator Clutch Minaudiere in excellent condition. Green alligator leather trimmed with gold hardware and a top button closure. Gold leather interio...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black Silk Swarovski Crystal Top Evening Bag Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Judith Leiber Black Silk Swarovski Crystal Top Evening Bag Clutch in excellent condition. Black silk exterior trimmed with top gold hardware and clear swarovski crystals. Lift latch ...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Couture Collectible Multicolored Embroidered & Bedazzled Handbag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Carlsbad, CA
Brand: Judith Leiber Couture Bag ( Collectible ) Judith Leiber golden evening bag multicolored embroidered and bedazzled handbag is made with a top frame and snap clasp. This bag is ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Vintage Swarovski Crystal Basket Evening Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
STUNNING Judith leiber Swarobvskli crystal basket evening bag in very good vintage condition. Worn by Rihanna at the 2018 Met Gala. Silver swarovski crystal exterior in unique baske...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Deep Red Lizard Top Handle Handbag - SHW
By Judith Leiber
Located in Palm Beach, FL
Judith Leiber Deep Red Lizard Top Handle Handbag - SHW Circa 90's This beautiful structured handbag in a beautiful deep red lizard color, is in excellent condition. It has an art dec...
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1990s Judith Leiber

1980s Judith Leiber Encrusted Double Frog Expandable Belt
By Judith Leiber
Located in Wallkill, NY
Black Snake Skin Vintage Judith Leiber Belt. Cabochons set Onyx, Amethyst, and Jade stones with surrounding crystals. decorative frogs hinge together to form buckle closure. 21 3/4 i...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Black Gemstone Cat Minaudiere
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
ADORABLE Vintage Judith Leiber cat minaudiere in excellent condition. Black Swarovski crystal body with multi color gemstones and gold bow accent. Gold leather exterior base. Button ...
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1980s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Asian Motif Silk Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Take on the evening with this stunning Judith Leiber clutch! Circa 1970s, this clutch features a beautiful Asian motif finished with glittering multi-colored rhinestones, two exterio...
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1970s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Crystal Convertible Clutch
By Judith Leiber
Located in Alford, MA
Judith Leiber essential evening clutch, the entire surface covered in clear crystals. Slightly rectangular in shape with rounded corners. Gold metal frame, crystal studded clasp, and...
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber black leather & snakeskin shoulder bag 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Judith Leiber black leather & snakeskin shoulder bag 1980s...Half moon shaped bag has panels of patent leather, glazed python, black lizard and mate black leather...The bag closes wi...
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Late 20th Century Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Brown Leather Compartment Bag with Coin Purse, 1980s
By Judith Leiber
Located in Tucson, AZ
Like Bonnie Cashin’s revolutionary “Cashin Carry” bags of the 1960s, this ingenious purse seems to defy physics with the amount of room it offers. Essentially a series of expandable ...
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1980s Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER Ruched Black Snake Skin Evening Handbag
By Judith Leiber
Located in San Francisco, CA
JUDITH LEIBER evening clutch comes in black pleated snake skin leather with a gold tone kiss lock closure and chain strap. Excellent Pre-Owned Condition. Measurements: Length: 8 ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Black Swarovski Crystal Ball Minaudiere Evening Bag
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
RARE Judith Leiber Black crystal sphere minaudiere shoulder bag in excellent vintage condition. Black Swarovski crystal exterior trimmed with gold edges and clear crystals along top...
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1980s Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER c.1990's Pink Lizard Leather & Crystal Rhinestone Baguette Purse
By Judith Leiber
Located in Thiensville, WI
Judith Leiber c.1990's pink lizard leather and crystal rhinestone baguette. Pink lizard leather exterior with structured hard case sides. Single flat leather top handle. Silver-toned...
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1990s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber White Belt W/ Gold Lions Head Clasp
By Judith Leiber
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Judith Leiber White Belt W/ Gold Lions Head Clasp. Measurements: Longest length - 39.5 inches Shortest length - 23 inches Width - 1.25 inches
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1990s Judith Leiber

JUDITH LEIBER Black Crystal Embellished Chain Handle Minaudiere Box Clutch NWT
By Judith Leiber
Located in Thiensville, WI
DESCRIPTION: JUDITH LEIBER Black Crystal Embellished Chain Handle Minaudiere Box Clutch NWT Estimated Retail: $1,595 Brand / Manufacturer: Judith Leiber Collection: Designer: M...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Resting Crane Bird Diamante Gold Trinket Pill Box
By Judith Leiber
Located in Montreal, QC
Beautiful Hard to Find Gold tone Judith Leiber Trinket Box fashioned after a Japanese 'Koro' or incense holder in the form of a Resting Crane; highlighted with sparkling CZ crystals ...
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21st Century and Contemporary Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Poodle Box Minaudiere Evening Bag Wristlet
By Judith Leiber
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Adorable Judith Leiber Swarovski Crystal Poodle Box Minaudiere Evening Bag Wristlet in excellent condition. Black, clear, pink, blue and grey Swarovksi crystal with pearl accents th...
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1990s Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber fashion for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers an extraordinary range of authentic Judith Leiber fashion. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of red, green, blue and other tones. Most of the items here were designed during the 20th Century, but you can find examples that were created as recently as the 21st Century and Contemporary. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Delvaux, Donatella Versace and Marc Jacobs appealing. 1stDibs features haute couture, vintage and designer Judith Leiber fashion from top boutiques around the world. The price for these items starts at $132 and tops out at $6,500 on 1stDibs, while average work can sell for $1,080.

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