M&S Plastic Bag From 1986 Fetches £3,700 at Sotheby’s

LONDON - England - It was a historic day for auctioneer Sotheby's on Sunday when they managed to sell a Marks and Spencer plastic bag circa 1986 for a record price to a telephone bidder.


A large M&S plastic bag which used to belong to a tea lady from Grimsby was bought for 7,340 Swiss francs (£3,700). This was the highest price ever reached for a plastic bag at Sotheby’s.

The Marks and Spencer plastic bag was originally owned by Reggie Bunter,76, from Stoke on Trent but was entrusted to Mrs Adlington,89, many years later during a bowls game in Grimsby.

Before Sunday’s sale in Geneva, the auction house said that they thought the plastic bag could go for 500 Swiss francs. They commented that it was “almost certainly unique”.

The scarcity of any plastic bags from M&S have seen prices for the objects rocketing in recent months.

Geoffery Asder, head of plastics at Sotheby’s told a news conference held before the sale that the bag was one of “great symbolic and historic importance as they were now an extreme rarity”.

He added that the “combination of 1986 vintage and M&S label made this plastic bag an extremely rare and desirable commodity”.

The “M&S bag” was the only bag at the auction to go for an impressive price. A Tesco Quality bag circa 1995 was later on sold for approximately 20 pence.

It appears that plastic bag collecting can be an addictive activity, as Asder told Reuters before the sale.

“People who can buy these kinds of rare plastic bags have a quest for the perfect vintage rare supermarket bag. Once they’ve found it, they will go for it with no limit.”