The World's Most Expensive Handbag(s)? It's The Birkin(s) All The Way!

Zina Tasreen , 10 Dec 2011
The record breaker!
The record breaker!

$203,150 (£129,865). Exactly what it cost. For the private collector, who wished to remain anonymous, to score that handbag at a public auction, organized by Heritage Auctions with the aim of appealing to the world’s richest 1%, at Dallas on December, 6. The deets of the bag?

Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware
Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware ($113,525)

Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30 cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware – to be specific. Okay, okay, in simple words, bag crafted out of scarlet red crocodile skin with diamond-encrusted white and yellow 18-karat gold hardware fittings. Matt Rubinger, director of luxury accessories at Heritage Auctions, said: “The red Birkin was owned by a lady from Florida, who bought the bag in 2006 as the trophy of her collection. But after Hermès offered her the same bag in black and she thought that she might actually use a black one and put this one up for sale.” *sigh* It’s a one-of-a-kind Hermès Birkin bag…

Shiny Braise Red Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware
Shiny Braise Red Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware ($95,600)

That’s not it, the same auction clocked up the next most expensive handbags, too. And guess what? They were all Birkins! An Hermès “Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware” went for $113,525 (£72,568); a “Shiny Braise Red Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware” sold for $95,600 (£61,111); and an “Ultra Rare Himalayan Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware” (FYI, Victoria Beckham and Sylvie van der Vaart have them, too!) made $80,663 (£39,064).

Ultra Rare Himalayan Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware
Ultra Rare Himalayan Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware ($80,663)

Just, just in case you did not know, the Hermès Birkin bag’s free of logos (hence, right up my alley :-D) ‒ yet it remains the most recognised and sought-after of handbags. Created in 1984 for the actress Jane Birkin, the bags are distributed to the French luxury label’s boutiques on unpredictable schedules and in limited quantities, creating exclusivity and opprobriously high demand (ta-da!). That is, 2-3 years long waiting lists (remember Samantha’s plight in SATC in Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” episode, the one with Lucy Liu in it?) despite willing to fork out the preposterous prices (upwards of £4000/$7500). And oh, she’s Bagwati‘s (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) much younger sister.

$200K on a bag… It got me wondering and subsequently daydreaming… If I had that much cash to shell out, would I? Being an aspiring patron saint of stupid rich ladies YES! Also, it left me puzzled over: how many Nanos would it buy? Any guesses, R?

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