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The Holy Grail Bag Part II: day versus night

PurseBop founder Monika Arora discusses Holy Grail Bags (HGBs) for day and evening — and offers suggestions from our upcoming sales in New York, Paris and Hong Kong

As PurseBop has defined it, a Holy Grail Bag (HGB) is the handbag we desire most at any given moment. Though we tend to think of the HGB as our ‘one and only’, the truth is no one bag fulfills every need.

If daywear can be more relaxed or neutral, evenings often call for more formal attire: sharp suits and tailored dresses, for example, for dining, theatre visits and gallery openings. It therefore makes sense to have different HGBs for day and night.

Daytime Capsule

Although there are no concrete rules, daytime bags steer toward vibrant pops of colour or versatile neutrals. They can be either spacious or small. Ultimately, the search for a daytime handbag is about finding a functional piece that fits your needs and effortlessly expresses your personal style.

A Matte Blue Paon Alligator Mini Constance 18 With Palladium Hardware. 18 w x 15 h x 4 d cm. Estimate HK$100,000-150,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 29 November 2017  at Christie’s in Hong Kong


This dainty mini Constance is perfect for an elegant luncheon or high tea.

A Matte Blue Paon Alligator Mini Constance 18 With Palladium Hardware. 18 w x 15 h x 4 d cm. Estimate: HK$100,000-150,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 29 November 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This dainty mini Constance is perfect for an elegant luncheon or high tea.

A Rare, Gold Evercalf Leather Shadow Birkin 40 With Palladium Hardware. 40 w x 27 h x 21 d cm. Estimate HK$80,000-100,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 29 November 2017  at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This exceptionally rare Birkin is functional and deceptively simple, boasting the illusion of the Birkin’s iconic features.


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A Rare, Gold Evercalf Leather Shadow Birkin 40 With Palladium Hardware. 40 w x 27 h x 21 d cm. Estimate: HK$80,000-100,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 29 November 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This exceptionally rare Birkin is functional and deceptively simple, boasting the illusion of the Birkin’s iconic features.

Sac défilé vanity en alligator lisse argent, garniture en métal argenté, Chanel, 2017 cruise.  l 24 x  h 17 x  p 10  cm. Estimate €6,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December at Christie’s in Paris

It’s hard to envision an outfit that wouldn’t pair well with this rare version of Chanel’s current ‘It bag’, the Vanity Case. Though we’ve

Sac défilé vanity en alligator lisse argent, garniture en métal argenté, Chanel, 2017 cruise. l 24 x h 17 x p 10 cm. Estimate: €6,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December at Christie’s in Paris

It’s hard to envision an outfit that wouldn’t pair well with this rare version of Chanel’s current ‘It bag’, the Vanity Case. Though we’ve categorised it as a daytime Holy Grail Bag, this chameleon easily transitions from day to night.

A rare, matte white himalaya niloticus crocodile birkin 30 with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2011. 30 w x 22 h x 15 d cm. Estimate                    $65,000-85,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

The Himalaya Birkin is the ultimate Holy Grail Bag for many collectors. The bag’s neutral palette mimics the snowy peaks of the Himalaya Mountains,

A rare, matte white himalaya niloticus crocodile birkin 30 with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2011. 30 w x 22 h x 15 d cm. Estimate: $65,000-85,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

The Himalaya Birkin is the ultimate Holy Grail Bag for many collectors. The bag’s neutral palette mimics the snowy peaks of the Himalaya Mountains, making it the perfect neutral companion for any ensemble.

A Candy Collection Rose Tyrien & Rubis Epsom Retourné Kelly 32 With Palladium Hardware. 32 w x 23 h x 11 d cm. Estimate HK$60,000-80,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 29 November 2017  at Christie’s in Hong Kong

	This spacious Kelly combines practicality with flair to make a bold daytime statement. Rose Tyrien is regarded as the most desired pink among

A Candy Collection Rose Tyrien & Rubis Epsom Retourné Kelly 32 With Palladium Hardware. 32 w x 23 h x 11 d cm. Estimate: HK$60,000-80,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 29 November 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This spacious Kelly combines practicality with flair to make a bold daytime statement. Rose Tyrien is regarded as the most desired pink among collectors.

A custom rose schéhérazade, vert émeraude & bleu izmir alligator birkin 30 with gold hardware, Hermès, 2014. 30 w x 20 h x 15 d cm. Estimate HK$400,000-500,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 29 November 2017  at Christie’s in Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall

For the collector who dares to make a bold statement, this tricolor exotic Birkin commands attention.


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A custom rose schéhérazade, vert émeraude & bleu izmir alligator birkin 30 with gold hardware, Hermès, 2014. 30 w x 20 h x 15 d cm. Estimate: HK$400,000-500,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 29 November 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall

For the collector who dares to make a bold statement, this tricolor exotic Birkin commands attention.

Evening Capsule

The purpose of an evening bag is to make a statement when paired with dressier ensembles. Evening Holy Grail Bags are generally smaller and more manageable. In this category, you’ll find minaudières, embellished bags and otherwise striking and novelty pieces.

Sac du soir matryoshka défilé paris-bombay en plexiglas noir, garniture en métal doré, édition limitée, Chanel, métiers dart automnehiver 201213.  l 16.5 x  h 13 x  p 6.5  cm. Estimate €4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December 2017 at Christie’s in Paris
Though this exquisite Chanel minaudière

Sac du soir matryoshka défilé paris-bombay en plexiglas noir, garniture en métal doré, édition limitée, Chanel, métiers d'art automne/hiver 2012/13. l 16.5 x h 13 x p 6.5 cm. Estimate: €4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December 2017 at Christie’s in Paris

Though this exquisite Chanel minaudière  is ostensibly a handbag, it functions more as an ornament. Like a beloved piece of jewellery, this Matryoshka bag is an extension of the person who wears it.

Rare sac birkin 25 en chèvre métallisé cuivre, garniture en métal doré, Hermès, 2005.  L 25 x  h 19 x  p 14  cm. Estimate €8,000-10,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December 2017  at Christie’s in Paris
With metallic leather no longer in production, this rare mini Birkin is a surefire attention-getter.

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Rare sac birkin 25 en chèvre métallisé cuivre, garniture en métal doré, Hermès, 2005. L 25 x h 19 x p 14 cm. Estimate: €8,000-10,000. This lot is offered in Sacs & Accessoires on 12 December 2017 at Christie’s in Paris

With metallic leather no longer in production, this rare mini Birkin is a surefire attention-getter.

A shiny black alligator sellier mini kelly 20 ii with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2017. 20 w x 16 h x 10 d cm. Estimate $25,000-35,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

Very few of these exotic mini Kellys still exist. Black is an evening wear staple, and its small size and crossbody option make it easy to manoeuvre. 

A shiny black alligator sellier mini kelly 20 ii with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2017. 20 w x 16 h x 10 d cm. Estimate: $25,000-35,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

Very few of these exotic mini Kellys still exist. Black is an evening wear staple, and its small size and crossbody option make it easy to manoeuvre. 

An exceptional, shiny braise niloticus crocodile diamond birkin 25 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware, Hermès, 2005. 25 w x 19 h x 13 d cm. Estimate $70,000-90,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

This dazzling braise red mini Birkin is a statement piece for any special occasion.


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An exceptional, shiny braise niloticus crocodile diamond birkin 25 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware, Hermès, 2005. 25 w x 19 h x 13 d cm. Estimate: $70,000-90,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

This dazzling braise red mini Birkin is a statement piece for any special occasion.

A natural lizard 2.0 mini top handle with gold hardware, Stalvey, 2017. 20 w x 12 h x 8 d cm. Estimate $4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

Chic, modern and exquisitely constructed, emerging brand Stalvey focuses on reimagining exotics. The neutral tones of this bag, paired with bold hardware, make it the ideal nighttime accessory.

A natural lizard 2.0 mini top handle with gold hardware, Stalvey, 2017. 20 w x 12 h x 8 d cm. Estimate: $4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 22 November to 5 December 2017, Online

Chic, modern and exquisitely constructed, emerging brand Stalvey focuses on reimagining exotics. The neutral tones of this bag, paired with bold hardware, make it the ideal nighttime accessory.

A Custom Shiny Vert Émeraude & Gris Tourterelle Niloticus Crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 With Brushed Gold Hardware. 28 w x 20 h x 11 d cm. Estimate HK$600,000-700,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 29 November 2017  at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This special order, two-tone Kelly adds an air of royalty to an ensemble. This night-time beauty rivals neutral bags

A Custom Shiny Vert Émeraude & Gris Tourterelle Niloticus Crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 With Brushed Gold Hardware. 28 w x 20 h x 11 d cm. Estimate: HK$600,000-700,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 29 November 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

This special order, two-tone Kelly adds an air of royalty to an ensemble. This night-time beauty rivals neutral bags while also maintaining a subtle pop of colour.

In the quest for an HGB, it’s useful to keep day versus night considerations in mind. But the most important question remains the same: does this bag embody or embolden my personal style, and does it make my collection more complete?