Hermes Birkin sold for $217,144; makes European record for 'most expensive handbag sold at auction'

Indo-Asian News Service

Jun 13, 2018 11:24:50 IST

A 10-year-old second-hand Hermes Birkin bag has sold for $217,144 in London, a new European record for the most expensive handbag sold at an auction.

The 2008 Himalaya Birkin, with an 18-carat white gold diamond encrusted lock, exceeded its list price of 100,000-150,000 pounds on 12 June, reports the BBC.

Hermes Birkin bags. AFP

Hermes Birkin bags. AFP/ Stan Honda

The record for a bag sold at auction — also a Hermes Birkin — is $380,000, set in Hong Kong in 2017.

It is the "undisputed most valuable bag in the world", auction house Christie's said. It was the first time the bag had been offered in a European auction, said Matthew Rubinger, international director at the auctioneers.

The niloticus crocodile bag was said to be in "grade 2 condition" with no obvious flaws.

It measures just 30 cm wide — smaller than the original Birkin handbag — and is made from Nile crocodile hide and features diamonds. Its name refers to the colour gradient, said to resemble the snow-capped hills of the Himalayas.

A 2006 blue version of the handbag sold for $133,608 at the same auction on 12 June, the BBC reported.

New Birkin bags can start at around $9,350 each, but they are not easy to buy, with famously long waiting lists.

The French luxury fashion house Hermes designed what came to be known as the Birkin in 1981. Named after the singer and actress Jane Birkin, it has become one of the most sought-after accessories in the world, but it began as a quest for the perfect holdall.

Updated Date: Jun 13, 2018 11:24:50 IST