A red crocodile Hermès Birkin handbag has just set the world record for being the most expensive bag ever to be sold at a public auction, after it sold for an eye watering US$203,150. Everybody knows that Birkin bags, the iconic handbags made by family business Hermès, are expensive. But the one that sold last week in Dallas was outrageously priced, even by normal standards.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Hermès Birkin bag sells for over €150,000
Everybody knows that Birkin bags, the iconic handbags made by family business Hermès, are expensive. But the one that sold last week in Dallas was outrageously priced, even by normal standards.
The bag, made of red crocodile leather and featuring 18-carat white gold and diamond-encrusted fittings, was sold for US$203,150 (€151,776) to an anonymous private collector.
According to Heritage Auctions, the auction house that organised the sale and initially expected it to sell for US$80,000, this makes the red Birkin the world’s most expensive handbag.
It was one of four Hermès handbags on sale at the auction, which also included more than 500 designer bags from brands such as Fendi and Louis Vuitton. In comparison to the Birkin, the other three Hermès bags were bargains, going for between US$80,000 and US$113,000.
"The Hermès Diamond collection is the most limited of all Hermès productions. With only a few pieces created each year, even major collectors cannot find these pieces,” Matt Rubinger, director of luxury accessories at Heritage, said in a statement.
“A Birkin from this collection, in signature Rouge Hermès crocodile, is singularly the most desirable bag in the world and, between its desirability and its rarity, truly an investment piece," he added.
Hermès was founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès. Today, nine members of the Hermès family work at the company, including Bertrand Peuch, who serves as executive chairman, and sixth-generation Pierre-Alexis Dumas, who is the creative director.
(Picture: Rosmah Mansor and Shahrizat Abdul Jalil: The Star, 11 December 2011)
Hermes Birkin Bag Sold For US$203,150 At Auction
Before today, the most expensive bag we could conceive of was The Backpack, made by the Olsen twins' line The Row. The Backpack rings in at US$35,000 or US$39,000 depending where you check (these days, The Row website simply says "email for pricing").
But today our world has been rocked, as Women's Wear Daily reports that an Hermes Birkin has been sold for US$203,150. To which we say: holy shit.
The deets: the bag was not your average US$7,000 Birkin but rather an "Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30 cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware." (Yep, that's its official name).
In other words, the bag is made of red croc skin with white gold clasps covered in diamonds.
The bag was sold at public auction in Dallas, where it fetched a much higher price than anticipated. Matt Rubinger, director of luxury accessories at Heritage Auctions, told WWD, "... This was certainly an exceptional price, exceeding our highest expectations at every corner."
You can say that again. Considering we'll never be shelling out US$200K on a bag, we wondered and subsequently began to daydream: what else would we spend that cash on?
FOR US$203,150, YOU COULD BUY...
* 5,805 pairs of Missoni for Target rain boots
* 1,934 bottles of Chanel No. 5 perfume
* 200 Louis Vuitton Speedy bags
* 131 hours on a chartered private jet
* 5 The Backpacks by The Row
* 3.5 years' undergraduate tuition at Harvard University
* 2/3 of Beyonce's Birkin collection
This Hermès Birkin sells for over US$200,000; sets world record
A red crocodile Hermès Birkin handbag (pictured above) has just set the world record for being the most expensive bag ever to be sold at a public auction, after it sold for an eye watering US$203,150.
The ‘Hermès Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30cm’ – to use its full name – was sold to an anonymous bidder at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas but was originally only expected to fetch US$80,000.
We don’t need anyone to tell us that Birkins are special, but apart from the fact that this one features white gold and diamond hardware, what makes it so special?
“This is an extraordinary example of one of the world’s most exceptional handbags, and this was certainly an exceptional price, exceeding our highest expectations at every corner,” Matt Rubiner, a spokesperson for Heritage Auctions told WWD after the sale.
“Just a year ago another Birkin, without the jewels and in lesser condition than this one, sold for the equivalent of US$77,000 at auction in England. Everything about this bag measures up much better than that one – it all combines to make this a singular bag and an extraordinary opportunity for a high-end collector.”
Well, there you have it.