Chandler West, from North Carolina, detailed on her TikTok how she came across the 1920s art deco bag two years ago while browsing an online estate sale.
The 29-year-old vintage shopper said in a video that she did not realise that the purse would be valuable.
“I just thought it looked old,” she told her followers on the video sharing platform. “I was like, I don’t know when that’s from, but it looks old, like older than just vintage, like antique-level old.
“So I know it’s worth more than one dollar. It’s pretty and I liked it, so I bought it.”
As there were no other bids on the item, she paid US$1 for it. West said that after receiving the purse, she left it “on a pile of things I just needed to research that I hadn’t gotten around to yet”.
“I’m going to research it and I’m going to figure out when you’re from and what your deal is,” she continued.
West sought the help of a Facebook group to find out more information about the purse and was told that it may be a 1920s design by French luxury watch and jewellery brand Cartier, which also makes bags.
The flat purse featured an intricate print exterior with a small blue clasp featuring multiple gems, under which she found the brand name engraved.
West said that “after a lot of squinting and flashlight shining, I knew that I had a real Cartier 1920s evening bag on my hands”.
A jeweller confirmed to her that the stones on the bag were real, and an auctioneer estimated it was worth between £2,400 to £3,200.
West decided to sell it through an auction house and eventually sold it via Rago Auctions for a starting price of US$2,000.
In another TikTok video, which gained more than 1.9 million views, West filmed her reaction to the price going higher and higher, far beyond the estimated US$3,500 ceiling.
She captioned the video: “Lucky girl syndrome at its finest.”
Followers were stunned by the eventual price of the bag, with many congratulating West for her success.
“It’s not lucky girl syndrome, it’s smart girl syndrome,” one fan commented.
Another added: “Even with the percentage the auction house takes, WOW you cleaned up! Great find.”
A third said: “As someone with their career in the auction space, know how thrilled we are when pieces exceed estimates and expectations! Brava! Congratulations!”