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What’s your HGB (Holy Grail Bag)? Let PurseBop help you decide

Monika Arora, founder of PurseBop, the leading online designer handbag destination, discusses Holy Grail Bags (HGBs) for two different types of buyer — and offers suggestions from our upcoming sales

What is a Holy Grail Bag (HGB)?

A Holy Grail Bag (HGB), as PurseBop defines it, is the most desired handbag on your wish list at any moment. Without it, your collection can hardly be considered complete.

But the HGB is often difficult to acquire due to cost or scarcity. Sometimes, you lust after the bag for aeons, and it lingers in the forefront of your mind until you can call it your own. PurseBop’s Holy Grail Bag is a braise red crocodile Birkin 25.

Of course, the Holy Grail Bag differs from person to person, just as every handbag lover has unique preferences and needs. Contrary to popular belief, the HGB doesn’t have to be the rarest or most expensive piece on the market. It just needs to represent a significant landmark in each individual’s handbag journey.

Let’s explore what a Holy Grail Bag can be by comparing two bidders with different tastes. Bidder A is a serious handbag aficionado seeking a stand-out, novel addition that will boost the exclusivity of A’s collection. Bidder B desires exceptional quality, but is more pragmatic — B hopes to find an iconic piece of Hermès history that can translate into a lifetime of regular use.

Now that we have a snapshot of each bidder’s taste and personality, let’s preview a few bags that Bidder A and Bidder B might consider for their HGB. You’ll quickly find that the realm of possibilities is surprisingly diverse.

Bidder A
Looking for a unique statement piece / Open to any size, including a mini / Long-time collector

These PurseBop picks include a few of Hermès’ rarest creations with exceptional qualities: exotic skins, 18k diamond-encrusted hardware, and vibrant novelty colours.

An exceptional, matte white Himalaya niloticus crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2014. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate HK$1,500,000-2,000,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
The ultimate HGB for the most discerning collector — only a handful of meticulously-crafted Himalayan

An exceptional, matte white Himalaya niloticus crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2014. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate: HK$1,500,000-2,000,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

The ultimate HGB for the most discerning collector — only a handful of meticulously-crafted Himalayan Birkins have ever been encrusted with diamonds.

A fuchsia niloticus lizard Birkin 25 with ruthenium hardware. Hermès, 2006. 25 x 19 x 13 cm. Estimate £15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street
Quite possibly the ideal ‘pretty in pink’ purse, this HGB is highly desirable for its mini size and rare lizard skin.

A fuchsia niloticus lizard Birkin 25 with ruthenium hardware. Hermès, 2006. 25 x 19 x 13 cm. Estimate: £15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

Quite possibly the ideal ‘pretty in pink’ purse, this HGB is highly desirable for its mini size and rare lizard skin.

A limited edition shiny & matte bleu colvert porosus crocodile Ghillies Birkin 35 with palladium hardware. HermÈs, 2015. 14 x 10 x 7 in. Estimate $50,000-60,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online
The especially rare Ghillies trim, inspired by a Scottish men’s dress shoe, sets this exotic Birkin apart from the rest.

A limited edition shiny & matte bleu colvert porosus crocodile Ghillies Birkin 35 with palladium hardware. HermÈs, 2015. 14 x 10 x 7 in. Estimate: $50,000-60,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online

The especially rare Ghillies trim, inspired by a Scottish men’s dress shoe, sets this exotic Birkin apart from the rest.

A shiny vert émeraude niloticus crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2015. 28 x 20 x 10 cm. Estimate £20,000-30,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street
A deep rich emerald colour combined with elegant size makes this a Holy Grail classic to be treasured both day and night.

A shiny vert émeraude niloticus crocodile Sellier Kelly 28 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2015. 28 x 20 x 10 cm. Estimate: £20,000-30,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

A deep rich emerald colour combined with elegant size makes this a Holy Grail classic to be treasured both day and night.

An exceptional shiny bleu marine porosus crocodile Diamond Birkin 35 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2007. 35 x 25 x 18 cm. Estimate £100,000-150,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

This majestic beauty exudes a regal nature in its stately size and presence.

An exceptional shiny bleu marine porosus crocodile Diamond Birkin 35 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2007. 35 x 25 x 18 cm. Estimate: £100,000-150,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

This majestic beauty exudes a regal nature in its stately size and presence.

An exceptional, shiny rose scheherazade porosus crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2014. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate HK$1,000,000-1,500,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Rose Scheherazade — the most exclusive of all Hermès pinks — coupled with encrusted

An exceptional, shiny rose scheherazade porosus crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 with 18k white gold & diamond hardware. Hermès, 2014. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate: HK$1,000,000-1,500,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Rose Scheherazade — the most exclusive of all Hermès pinks — coupled with encrusted diamonds makes this bag the queen of our capsule collection.

Bidder B
Looking for everyday use / Large carry-all / New collector

Here, PurseBop’s capsule contains iconic Hermès leathers that reflect the brand’s equestrian origins, including barenia, sought-after box leathers, and durable leathers such as epsom and togo.

A black calf box leather Sellier Kelly 35 with gold hardware. Hermès, 2008. 35 x 25 x 13 cm. Estimate £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

This bag has the exact specifications of the Kelly that Grace Kelly herself made famous when she used it to conceal her pregnancy — a true classic.

A black calf box leather Sellier Kelly 35 with gold hardware. Hermès, 2008. 35 x 25 x 13 cm. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

This bag has the exact specifications of the Kelly that Grace Kelly herself made famous when she used it to conceal her pregnancy — a true classic.

A rare, fauve barenia leather Birkin 40 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2007. 40 x 28 x 20 cm. Estimate £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

Created with an Hermès historic leather that develops patina over the course of time, this workhorse bag will carry you through day after day after

A rare, fauve barenia leather Birkin 40 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2007. 40 x 28 x 20 cm. Estimate: £4,000-6,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

Created with an Hermès historic leather that develops patina over the course of time, this workhorse bag will carry you through day after day after day.

A rare, matte black niloticus crocodile So Black Birkin 30 with black hardware. Hermès, 2010. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate HK$300,000-400,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories  on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

An already sought-after crocodile Birkin becomes even more exclusive with its limited-production So Black hardware.

A rare, matte black niloticus crocodile So Black Birkin 30 with black hardware. Hermès, 2010. 30 x 22 x 15 cm. Estimate: HK$300,000-400,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 31 May 2017 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

An already sought-after crocodile Birkin becomes even more exclusive with its limited-production So Black hardware.

A custom black & rouge H epsom leather Sellier Kelly 32 with brushed gold hardware. Hermès, 2014. Estimate $12,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online

Contrasting neutral tones, partnered with special-order hardware, make this HGB a timeless classic with an edge.

A custom black & rouge H epsom leather Sellier Kelly 32 with brushed gold hardware. Hermès, 2014. Estimate: $12,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online

Contrasting neutral tones, partnered with special-order hardware, make this HGB a timeless classic with an edge.

A limited edition gold togo leather shark Bolide 45 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2016. Estimate $10,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online

A travel essential featuring unusual playful detail, this capacious companion is a statement HGB.

A limited edition gold togo leather shark Bolide 45 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2016. Estimate: $10,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories, 13-22 June 2017, Online

A travel essential featuring unusual playful detail, this capacious companion is a statement HGB.

A chocolat calf box leather & toile Kelly Lakis 40 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2006. 40 x 27 x 15 cm. Estimate £3,000-4,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

Elegance meets functionality in this versatile chocolate HGB that refashions the classic Kelly into a handbag with multiple compartments.

A chocolat calf box leather & toile Kelly Lakis 40 with palladium hardware. Hermès, 2006. 40 x 27 x 15 cm. Estimate: £3,000-4,000. This lot is offered in Handbags & Accessories on 12 June 2017 at Christie’s in London, King Street

Elegance meets functionality in this versatile chocolate HGB that refashions the classic Kelly into a handbag with multiple compartments.

Whether your taste resembles that of the utilitarian or the novelty bidder — or perhaps a melange of the two — there is a Holy Grail Bag out there that suits your needs and desires. 

In some ways, though, the chase and the anticipation of purchase are the most enjoyable part of the game. When you finally get the opportunity to add the HGB to your collection, the moment is magical, but fleeting. Another beauty is bound to catch your eye and take its place — in the experience of PurseBop, the quest for the HGB is never truly over.