Christie’s previews ultra-expensive handbags

A crocodile Kelly Bag (left) and a Himalaya Nilo Birkin Bag are both going to sell at the live auction in December.
A crocodile Kelly Bag (left) and a Himalaya Nilo Birkin Bag are both going to sell at Christie’s live auction in December.

This morning, press munched on fruit and pastries at the penthouse of the NoMad hotel for a private viewing of a selection of Hermès and Judith Lieber handbags on sale through Christie’s.

Several of the bags, like an Hermès 23cm Mykonos Nilo Crocodile Constance Bag, expected to fetch $35,000-40,000 and a 30cm Amethyst Nilo Crocodile Birkin, expected to fetch $65,000- 70,000, are available to bid on now through Christie’s online auction house (the auctions close on Thursday). Christie’s is also selling a fairly large number of Judith Lieber clutches online, like a Silver, Green & Pink Crystal Waving Cat Clutch for $3,000.

Others on display, like a 25cm Porosus Crocodile Kelly Bag with 18K White Gold and diamond hardware, expected to fetch $60-70,000 and a 25cm Himalaya Nilo Crocodile Birkin, expected to fetch $80,000-100,000 (a 30cm one is currently for sale on another site for $450,000) are not for sale until a live auction in New York in December. It will be the first time that handbags are sold through a live auction at Christie’s in New York; previous handbag auctions have taken place in Paris and Hong Kong.

Christie’s set the record for the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction back in June with a Birkin that went for $223,000. There’s no way of knowing yet on whether any of these beauties will beat that record, but associate specialist Rachel Koffsky (the self-titled “Birkin Whisperer“) was confident that they might come pretty close.