Judith Leiber rare handbags and accessories auction in San Francisco

Bonhams is honoured to announce the December 12 auction of The Robert Maier Collection of Judith Leiber handbags and accessories.

The magnificent offering boasts more than 250 examples in the shapes of dogs, cats, bears, sea life, floral, vegetables, eggs and fairy tale-inspired items.

Highlights include the highly sought after three-dimensional and traditional handbags, as well as a strong selection of pill boxes, lipstick cases, compacts, notebooks, business card cases and candy holders, with many of the items to be offered without reserve.

More than an auction, this is a love story. The ever-doting husband, Bob Maier shares a tale of going above and beyond for the love of his life, his wife. 

"It started innocently enough," he began, "as many stories do, with the single purchase of a single item, produced by someone I had never heard of at the time: Judith Leiber.

My wife was completely taken with Leiber's little "pillboxes," so we thought we'd start a collection. Something a husband can always make his wife happy with at Christmas or Valentine's Day? I'm all in! 

The thing was, for many years, we had a hard time making ends meet. Through it all, my wife never complained. She just isn't like that - so when she said she wanted one of those pillboxes, I knew it was something special for her. I used this chance to make her happy.

Now I had a mission. I started educating myself about Judith Leiber and all her amazing bags. I had always wanted to somehow say 'Thanks' for putting up with me for 20-odd years." Maier said the gifts were very well received.

The Robert Maier Collection

The Robert Maier Collection of Judith Leiber handbags and

"We'd sometimes spend as much as a couple of hours each evening sharing information about Leiber's designs and admiring the handbags. I graduated from pillboxes to full purses quickly. Each time, I got to see my wife's face light up as a new bag she'd never seen would appear from its wrapping. 

As my wife and I enter retirement, we now pass along this these items to the other collectors out there that love these shiny little bags. Don't worry; my wife is keeping a selection of her favourites, but the rest of her amazing collection we offer to you. Give them a good home, show them off, and most of all, have fun!"

Robert and his wife are retired and reside in South Dakota. Together they work with many charitable organisations, take care of their four dogs, four cats and five horses, and, of course, revel in their love for each other.

Highlights from The Robert Maier Collection of Judith Leiber handbags and accessories include a black, silver and pink crystal nightingale birdcage minaudiere with two birdcage pillboxes (estimated at $3,000-4,000, pictured above).

Select highlights from The Robert Maier Collection of Judith Leiber handbags and accessories will auction in the run-up to Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale on December 12.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock