Dooney & Bourke Authentic All-Weather Leather Bags

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Characteristics of Authentic
Dooney & Bourke Bags
  2010 Cherry Hill

Do We Buy Dooneys?

Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke BlogDooney & Bourke bags sold for between $200-380 in the 1980s and 1990s which invited knock offs and fakes to flood the market. But it only takes a few seconds to spot the difference in materials, workmanship and feel of the great Dooney & Bourke handbags, briefcases, totes, wallets and other items in the All Weather Collection.

To help, authentic Dooney & Bourke items have some identifying features. Note that in the early 1980's before the AWL (All-Weather Leather) bags went into production, the Equestrian bags, for example, were made of wonderful bridle leather but it was NOT waterproof. Also those early bags, because they were not AWL bags, did not have the Duck Leather seal or the Brass Duck fob as these signify the waterproof aspects - like water shedding from a duck's feathers. So bear that in mind as you shop for authentic bags. There are some absolutes but some anomalies along the way also. To the best of my knowledge and by researching in my vintage Dooney & Bourke catalog collection, here's the scoop.

Early AWL bags (early 1980s) usually will have:

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  • Original Dooney & Bourke solid brass fob with a stylized backward D and a B.

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  • Solid brass hardware including all buckles, rivets, D-rings and latches.
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Handbag characteristics Solid Brass Hardware

 

  • Very early bags (1981-1982) have no sewn in cloth tags. The first sewn-in tags (1983-1984) were fairly large green rectangles sewn flat into the bag that said: Dooney & BourkeDB (in the stylized backward D and a B) Made in USA.

    Since 1985 or 1986, the red, white and blue tags were sewn as tabs inside the bag in conjunction with a seam. They say: "Dooney & Bourke, Inc.Made in USA" and they have a registration number on the back.See further notes about this tag below.

Dooney and Bourke Green tag

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Handbags in the AWL collection (1983-1990s)
usually will have:

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  • Oval leather duck logo glued and sewn on the front or back of the bag depending on style.

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  • Solid brass hardware including all buckles, rivets, D-rings and latches. Rivets are usually stamped with Dooney & Bourke.
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  • Solid brass Duck fob hanging from a leather thong. The fob says
    Dooney & Bourke
    All-Weather Leather (with a registered trademark symbol)
    Authentic duck fobs show a sharp, detailed eye, some space between the duck's bill and his body and a textured background.
  • In the late 1990s, some collections had Solid Nickel or Nickel Plated Duck fobs.
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  • Label of red, white and blue fabric sewn inside the purse that says "Dooney & Bourke" Made in USA" on one side...
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  • ...and an individual registration number on the other side. Usually the serial numbers are something like this: A1 777853; They indicate the style of bag, where the bag was made and the year it was made.
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  • Wallets and such that do not have sewn in tags will have a stamp embossed into the leather that says "Dooney & Bourke Made in USA" on the inside or the back.
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  • Leather seal found on items in the Glove Leather Collection: "Dooney & Bourke, Fine American Leather Goods, Norwalk Conn., Made in USA"
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Backpack

Dooney & Bourke Bag Trim Designation

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

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  • 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
R54

Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag
R54

 

  • Burnt Cedar trim is designated by B in front of the bag's number.
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag
B54

 

  • Matching trim (for most bags, matching trim is only available in black, navy and red) is designated by P in front of the bag's number.
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Leather Equestrian Handbag
P54

 

  • Exceptions to the above "Matching trim" note include the Plaza Bag, the Zipalongs, and Kilties which came in all nineteen colors with British tan trim (designated by R) AND all nineteen colors with matching trim (designated by P).
Dooney and Bourke Kilty Bag
R45

 

  • 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
H512

 

Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke BlogAbout Registration Tags

Very early bags have no sewn in cloth regitration tags.
The first sewn-in tags (1983-1984) were fairly large green rectangles sewn flat into the bag that said:

Dooney & Bourke
DB
Made in USA

 

Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke BlogAfter 1985, the tags were red, white and blue and were sewn as tabs inside the bag in conjunction with a seam. They say:

Dooney & Bourke, Inc.
Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke BlogMade in USA
and they have a registration number on the back.

 

Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke BlogSome more recent bags (1990s) have been manufactured in the US but assembled elsewhere, such as Costa Rica. Those bags have red, white and blue sewn-in tags Paula's Vintage Dooney & Bourke Blogthat say Dooney & Bourke Inc. but the tag does not say Made in USA. Instead there is often a (leather or cloth) tag underneath the red, white and blue tag that says where the bag was assembled such as the example above which shows a blue cloth tag that says "Assembled in Costa Rica.

In these assembled-overseas bags, there is a registration number on the back of the red, white and blue tag and the letter it stars with indicates the country where the bag was assembled.

C indicates Costa Rica
H indicates China
I indicates Italy
M indicates Mexico.

 

This registration tag system was used when Dooney & Bourke was producing a limited amount of collections. As the company got larger, it no longer assigned individual registration numbers to each bag.

Tags removed or snipped? Often we will see tags that are snipped or partially or completely torn out of the bags. If a tag is snipped but is mostly still there, it probably indicates that the bag was sold at an outlet store - it is likely authentic but might have been an overstock or slightly imperfect bag. If a tag is completely ripped out, leaving only a few red and white threads, I am always suspicious. Such bags might be authentic but it would be difficult to authenticate them without a registration number.

Since there are so many knock-off designer bags out there, it pays to do a little homework before you buy. We only sell authentic Dooney & Bourke leather handbags. We feel Dooney & Bourke bags from the 1980s and 1990s are the best bags you can find. They are extremely high quality, made in USA, registered bags.

Drop Length. Go here to find out what drop length means and how we measure it.

 

"We hope you enjoy looking through the bags we've found and
that you see one that suits you to a T."

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History of Dooney & Bourke 
Dooney & Bourke Bags For Sale
click on a category below to see selection
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Kilty
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Briefcase
Dooney and Bourke Round Flap Snap bag
Miscellaneous
Dooney and Bourke Zip Top
Zip Top
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Backpack
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Grab Bag Bag
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Wallet
Dooney and Bourke All-Weather Equestrian Handbags
Belts, Fobs, Suspenders
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By law, we are required to say that we are not employees of Dooney & Bourke and, to the best of our knowledge, each bag we have listed on our site is a 100% authentic Dooney & Bourke Handbag. If we can not verify the authenticity of a bag, we will mention it in the details.
Our Dooney & Bourke bags are new and used.
We provide as much detail as we can about each bag that we list.
Each bag will sell to the first person who sends payment.
Characteristics of
Dooney & Bourke Bags

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