An unnamed buyer at Christie’s in Hong Kong has just paid the highest price ever for a handbag at auction, spending $300,168 on a Birkin bag, greatly exceeding the $250,000 estimate.
This Birkin is made from crocodile leather and 18K white gold and diamond hardware. Its white and brown pattern — called Himalaya because it resembles the mountains — is exceptionally rare and very desired. Back in December, a Himalaya Kelly bag sold at Christie’s in New York for $94,000 (the Kelly, obviously, is not quite as popular as the Birkin). CNBC estimates only two such Birkins are made each year, though Hermès declined to confirm that number.
Until now, the record for the most expensive handbag sold at auction was another Birkin, in fuscia crocodile, which sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong in June 2015 for $223,000. And away from the auction houses, only last month, an unnamed Los Angeles billionaire bought a “braise” crocodile Birkin for $298,000 through the luxury reseller site, Privé Porter.
This Himalaya Birkin bag was part of Christie’s “30 Years: The Sale” auction, which celebrated the auction house’s 30th anniversary in Asia. The most expensive item in the sale was a blue and white “Dragon” jar from the 1400s, which went for $20 million.