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 $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 $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 $80,000 and $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.