500-year-old Leonardo Da Vinci sketch now a real handbag

Jan. 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM ET

The History Blog /
Never too late: Luxury handbag maker Gherardini brought Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch to life. A replica of the sketch, alongside the new bag, are on display at Gheradini's in Florence.

By Justin Fenner, Styleite

An Italian leather goods company has started manufacturing a purse that the artist, sculptor and scientist Leonardo Da Vinci sketched on a piece of paper over 500 years ago.

 According to The History Blog, luxury handbag maker Gherardini has produced a limited edition of Da Vinci’s purse, which historians say was sketched around 1497. The original design was filed away in The Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume book of notes, theorems and drawings that Da Vinci is believed to have amassed between 1478 to 1519. Along with the purse, there are drawings of weaponry, notes on botany, a few math problems and even a few ideas for flying devices. But we’re here for the bag.

They’re calling it the Pretiosa (that’s Italian for precious, by the way), mainly because of its detailed decoration and handcrafted construction. Each calfskin bag is adorned with hand-sewn embroidery and carries a hand-etched brass handlebar. There are only 99 in existence, and while we don’t know what the price is going to be, we’d suggest saving your money and maybe finding someone who works for the company and taking them to a lovely meal. The bags go on sale March 1.

And in case you’re not sold on the idea yet, take a look at the creation of the bag below.


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