The Burberry Company
The Burberry company, sometimes named "Thomas Burberry" after its founder, is based in the UK. Burberry clothing and bags have a unique check pattern which is often copied in "Burberry style" items.
The company was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, although it wasn't until the latter half of 1880 that he developed the water resistant raincoat material which he patented.
In 1901, Burberry designed a new uniform for British Army Officers, eventually modifying their design to create a trenchcoat which subsequently became generally popular. Burberry was ultimately bought out by Great Universal, who also own Argos, and various mail order catalogues including Kays, Home Choice and Littlewoods.
The check pattern which today is synonymous with Burberry was first used as a lining for their aforementioned trenchcoat and registered as a trademark in 1924. However, in the late 1960s it was trademarked for use in other items such as umbrellas, bags, purses and handbags.
As proof of the endurance of the Burberry brand, Burberry received awards in 2000 and 2001 from the British Fashion Council, for their classic and contemporary designs.
Should I buy Burberry at auction?
That depends. You should be aware that many of the Burberry items available on online auctions are likely to be replica items (ie. fakes). I personally would not bid any more than I would be prepared to pay for a replica, unless there is documentary proof that the item is genuine, such as an original till receipt. Even then, I would be suspicious. There are many manufacturers in the Far East who create literally thousands of replicas which end up, one way or another, imported into the US and Europe.
If authenticity is of the utmost importance to you I would recommend one of the reputable online stores such as Yoox or BBClothing (both UK based).