Has curiosity led you to asking questions like “What is the most expensive Hermes bag ever sold at auction”, “What is the most expensive Birkin bag in 2021”, “Why are Birkin bags or Hermes bags so expensive”, or ” What is the most expensive bag in the world as of 2021″? Hermes bags are both rare and valuable. Not readily available new, the auction market for Hermes bags is always lively.
Hermes of Paris is a manufacturer of luxurious and exquisite products such as clothing jewelry, shoes, and accessories, all packed in iconic orange boxes with black trim. However, the item the company is most famous for is the ladies handbag. Hermes handbags, particularly the classic “Birkin” shape are instantly recognizable to those in the know and are exceptionally keenly sought after, even second-hand. Indeed, some investment brokers have to wryly admit that a Hermes bag can hold its value over many other investment choices. Some auction houses, such as Christie’s hold auctions specifically for iconic fashion pieces, and the most expensive Hermes bags, particularly the most expensive Birkin bags, have frequently caused a stir by fetching record prices at auctions. A study in 2017 study showed that the value of the Hermès Birkin bag had increased 500% over the last 35 years, which represents an increase of 14% per year. This constant increase in price led to many questions on why are Hermes bags so expensive.
Auctions are a collector’s paradise. They attract buyers and bidders from all walks of life who make purchases and bids in person, online, and over the phone. The price of items sold at the auction is generally higher than usual because the price is determined by the buyers themselves and the rarity of the item. Buyers can find rare luxury items such as jewelry, art, clothes, and even handbags at auctions. Below are the 10 most expensive Hermes Birkin bags ever sold at auction as of 2021.
1. Himalaya Niloticus crocodile diamond Birkin Bag 30 cm
This bag is made from the Niloticus crocodile’s hide, and its color is inspired by the Himalayan mountains, which inspire its color. From the dark foothills, the mountains rise majestically into the mist and are topped by white caps of snow. Dying crocodile hide is no easy task, but the skilled artisans at Hermes do an incredible job. The hide comes from the albino crocodile, which means it is naturally white in colour, and as white albino crocodiles are very rare in nature, this bag is a notably rare piece. The bag has a gorgeous gradient of pearl white and smoky grey. People often ask, “Why are Hermes Birkin bags so expensive?” and here is the answer. The hardware on this stunning diamond Hermes handbag features 18k white gold and 240 diamonds. It is a portable work of art and says all it needs to about the owner’s style and status.
This bag is extremely rare because only a few pieces were produced. It is the most expensive Hermes Birkin bag ever sold at auction, selling for $380,000.
Image credit: christies.com
The Hermes Birkin bag was first created in 1984, by the former Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas. The story goes that Dumas was on a flight from Paris to London when he met the glamourous British actress, Jane Birkin. Birkin was carrying a bag full of possessions and accessories which tipped up, spilling the contents. She complained to Dumas about the difficulty of finding a good practical and beautiful handbag for traveling, Dumas was hooked and began to draw designs on the back of a sick bag. The rest is history!
If you are wondering what is the most popular Hermes bag, there is no question that since its introduction, the Birkin bag has become the most sought-after and the most expensive in the Hermes series. Instantly recognizable, and available in a dizzying array of colours and finishes, Hermes Birkin has been spotted on the arms of many sparkling celebrities over decades, re-iterating its status as the most expensive bag in the world. Kylie Jenner, Kris Jenner, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez are all fans of the classic Birkin bag. Victoria Beckham is said to have a collection of more than 200 Birkins. Although they did not sell exceptionally well in the beginning, Hermes Birkin bags are now at the top of the charts for auction prices, as can be seen from the rest of our list of the most expensive Hermes and Birkin bags ever sold to auction as of 2021.
2. Blood-red Hermes shiny braise Porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium
The braise Porosus skin used to make this bag is one of the most desirable materials in the world, which explains its inclusion on our list of the most expensive Birkin bags in 2021, and in our chart of the most expensive bags in the world. The word braise is French for ember, which means hot red glow. This bag is the brightest red bag Hermes has ever produced, and it comes in a 40 cm size which makes it a statement bag for the woman who is not afraid of attention.
Its exotic material, Porosus crocodile skin, is one of the rarest and most expensive material in the world. Its highest selling price at an auction was $298,000 in April 2016.
3. Shiny black Porosus crocodile diamond Birkin bag.
Crocodile Birkin bags are more expensive than ordinary Birkin bags, and their rarity makes them the most coveted and expensive bags in the world. This particular skin from the Porosus crocodile is the most luxurious and exclusive exotic skin from Hermes. The Porosus skin has small, square and symmetrical scales which suit the scale of the Birkin bags very well. This bag has white gold and diamond hardware that alleviates the look of the bag. You may think that a black handbag is a black handbag, and as Hermes handbags are not stamped with any conspicuous logo, the uninitiated may wonder why the high prices. But that is the point. The people who can instantly recognize a genuine Birkin bag, do not need a logo, and often do not need to ask the price! It was auctioned in 2011 for 1,875,000 Hong Kong Dollars, which is equivalent to $235,790.
4. Fuchsia crocodile Birkin bag
This fuchsia crocodile skin Hermes bag is a real head-turner. It is easy to style, especially with monochromatic looks, adding a timeless and elegant pop of color. It also has one of the longest waiting lists at Hermes and is, therefore, one of the most coveted and most expensive Hermes Birkin bags in the world. Its hardware is made using 18K white gold and diamond embellishments.
Hermes bags are not mass-produced, and no two bags are precisely the same. While it is possible to order directly from Hermes, the bag has to be produced specifically for you, and there is a waiting list before you can even begin the process. This is why pre-loved Hermes bags are so popular at auction, and why a second hand bag in good condition can fetch such extravagant prices.
In 2015, a fuchsia crocodile Birkin bag was auctioned for $233,000 in Hong Kong, making it the most expensive bag in the world that year. The bag is said to have been bought by an Asian tycoon’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
5. So Black Birkin bag
This Hermes bag is a masterpiece made from a rare matte black Niloticus croc material. Unlike other Hermes bags, this bag has all black hardware made from black PVD coating. This bag is modest and edgy at the same time. It was created by John Paul Gaultier, the then Hermes creative director before leaving the company to start his own fashion house.
Its color is one of the reasons why this Hermes Birkin bag is so popular, and expensive at the same time. This bag was auctioned in Hong Kong for $210,299 in 2010, three times its average estimate. Another reason for its value is its rarity. Due to a design fault, Hermes discontinued the So Black Birkin bag, making the few bags in existence extremely valuable, hence why this is one of the most expensive Birkin bags in 2021. This bag is modest and edgy at the same time. Fashionistas love the design for its cool urban vibe, and its “little black dress” sexiness.”
6. Shiny bleu marine Porosus crocodile diamond Birkin bag
The blue color of this bag is simply exquisite. The material used to create this bag is also one of the rarest skins in the world. The Porosus crocodile skin is polished using agate for that unique lisse finish on the bag. The bag also has gold hardware engraved with diamonds that adds to the expensive appearance. Its unique color makes this bag one of the most desirable and expensive Hermes bags ever made.
Like all Hermes bags, the bleu marine Porosus crocodile bag is hand-stitched by highly skilled craftsmen at the Hermes workshops in Paris. They cannot be made by machine, as the unique stitch, the saddle stitch cannot be done on a sewing machine. Because the bags are made to be as strong as saddles, the stitching is guaranteed not to fail or unravel
In 2007, a 35 cm shiny bleu marine croc Birkin bag was auctioned for $190,005 – $70,000 US dollars more than the expected price. This bag, just like any Hermes bag, is a good investment because it is timeless and appreciates over time.
7. Shiny Rose Scheherazade Porosus Birkin bag
This bag was sold at a Hong Kong auction in 2014 for $177,375. It is made from the exotic Porosus crocodile skin and has white gold hardware embellished with diamonds. The interior is in the same color as the exterior of the bag, but in the chevre leather, which is a very unique feature in this particular bag, and we absolutely loved adding this item to our list of the most expensive Hermes bags ever sold on auction. This rare gem is an excellent collector’s item because the value of this Birkin bag is expected to increase and appreciate over time. The Hermes pink and red colours tend to be the most popular act auction, and this fresh bright pink adds a pop of delight that is surprisingly timeless.”
8. The ‘Geranium Porosus’ bag
This unique Hermes handbag was made as a one-of-a-kind for a special Hermes exhibition held in London in 2010. Exquisitely made from red and black matte crocodile and Togo leather, the bag’s most arresting feature is its built-in red feet. Quirky, funny and a designer talking point, the red feet were the talk of the show, and have remained a distinctive and recognizable element since.
This Hermes bag went for $125 000 at an exclusive auction in Texas in 2010. It takes the record for the most expensive bag made of leather from Hermes ever sold at auction.
9. Metallic bronze chèvre leather Hermès Birkin bag
This stunning bronze leather handbag sold for more than $117,000 at a 2017 Christie’s handbag and accessories sale in Paris, and is another worthy entry in our chart of the Top 10 most expensive Hermes bags ever sold on auction. This model of Birkin bag was only produced for one year in 2005, which accounts for its rarity value. The bronze fine-grained chèvre leather is set off by exquisite pure gold hardware. The craftsmanship of the Hermes workshops has its roots in the fine craft of saddlery, and this heritage can be clearly seen and appreciated in this beautiful piece.
The inspiration for this bag was the Parisienne designer Leïla Menchari who created stunning window displays in the Hermes flagship store at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris from 1978 until 2013. Menchari loves elaborate shining designs featuring metal, jewels and mother of pearl.
10. The Hermès’ Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware
The beautiful lavender-blue of the matte Brighton blue model gives it a young and carefree feel. The palladium hardware matches silver platinum and white gold jewelry. Gold and palladium hardware will never tarnish, and so one way to spot a fake Hermes bag is to check to hardware for any signs of tarnish. Sought after as a summer accessory by women with an eye for classic style, the top price fetched for this Birkin bag was $113,525 in Austin, Texas.
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