Press Release | The 2 Most Valuable Handbags in the World

Hong Kong

PRESS RELEASE | HONG KONG |4 MAY 2016 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The 2 Most Valuable Handbags in the World

To be auctioned on May 30 and June 1

At Christie’s Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong – This season Christie’s is excited to offer two of the most valuable handbags ever to appear at auction, both being potential world record-breaking pieces.

With an emphasis on collector pieces of the utmost quality, outstanding rarity and design, the sale presents the highest average lot value to date.

Following Christie’s record breaking 2016 autumn season, with a 95% sell-through rate, the spring sales are eagerly anticipated by buyers across Asia, looking to further their collection and to own these exceptional pieces.

 

Matthew Rubinger, International Director, Handbags & Accessories, Asia & EMERI, commented, “As one of the most tightly curated sales so far, it offers collectors some of the rarest pieces ever to appear in the market. We anticipate a strong response from collectors around the region, as their tastes and connoisseurship continue to deepen and as they continue their journey in acquiring pieces of fashion history”.

 

AN EXCEPTIONAL MATTE WHITE HIMALAYA NILOTICUS CROCODILE DIAMOND BIRKIN 30

WITH 18K WHITE GOLD & DIAMOND HARDWARE

HERMÈS, 2008

Estimate: HK$1,500,000-2,000,000 / US$190,000-260,000

 

This bag exemplifies a truly exciting and important moment in the handbags collector market. The rarest, most sought-after, most valuable handbag in existence will be at auction in Asia for the first time. Once sold, this potential record-breaker will be the finest piece in one of the best collections on earth, with the added provenance of being the Birkin 30 in Christie’s 30th Anniversary Sale.

 

The diamond pieces created by Hermes are exceptional, but none are nearly as iconic as the Himalaya. It is believed that only one or two, of the Diamond Himalayas are produced each year, globally, making it one of the lowest production runs for handbags. Originally produced in 2008 and retailed in 2009, this unforgettable handbag will make history when auctioned on 30 May.

 

In grade 1, this is likely to be the only Himalaya from that production year that remains untouched, pushing the bag to new heights of rarity.

The light colour gradient is characteristic of this early production and is both extremely desirable and quite difficult to find today.

The hardware is done in 174.4g of hand-crafted, solid 18K white gold and 245 VVS, F-colour diamonds, for a total diamond carat weight of 9.84.

 

AN EXCEPTIONAL, MATTE WHITE HIMALAYA NILOTICUS CROCODILE DIAMOND BIRKIN 25 WITH 18K WHITE GOLD & DIAMOND HARDWARE

HERMÈS, 2013

25 w x 19 h x 13 d cm

Estimate: HK$1,300,000-1,500,000 / US$170,000-190,000

 

There is no handbag in existence that is more sought-after or more valuable than the Diamond Himalaya.  

 

The Diamond collection features the most exceptional pieces in creation and the Himalaya is the rarest and most important example.

 

This superlative piece has only ever been produced in extremely limited quantities and this is the first example in size 25 to appear at auction.

 

The striking coloration from stark white to dark grey is one of the finest gradients seen on a Himalaya.

 

Each piece of the hardware is inscribed with a unique serial number matching its certificate. The hardware features 103.27g 18K white gold set with 145 diamonds of F-G colour, VVS clarity and a total carat weight of 5.57.

 

This ultimate piece is unlikely to be available again.

 

AN EXCEPTIONAL, MATTE BLACK POROSUS CROCODILE JACKET

BY JEAN PAUL GAULTIER 

HERMÈS, 2004

Estimate: HK$200,000-250,000 / US$26,000-32,000

 

This jacket is one of the most important fashion creations of the 21st century. It was created by Jean Paul Gaultier for his first runway collection with Hermes in 2004 and modelled by Linda Evangelista.

 

Only very few were produced due to the highly technical process of creation.

 

It originally retailed at HK$1M+, is made entirely from Porosus Crocodile, and another example is in the Hermes museum and goes on exhibition globally.

 

There could be fewer than 10 of these in the world.

 

A CUSTOM SHINY GRIS TOURTERELLE & ULTRA VIOLET NILOTICUS CROCODILE BICOLOR BIRKIN 25 WITH GOLD HARDWARE 

HERMÈS, 2015

Estimate: HK$400,000-500,000 / US$52,000-65,000

 

Bespoke, custom pieces are extremely difficult to find, especially in size 25, and they are the most valuable in crocodile. The colour combination is an essential element and Gris Tourterelle is one of the most desirable shades. Paired with a bright purple and gold hardware, this is a very fine example.

 

 

A RARE, STERLING SILVER MICRO MINI KELLY WITH CHAINE D’ANCRE STRAP 

HERMÈS, 1990s

13 w x 10 h x 6 d cm

Estimate: HK$150,000-200,000 / US$20,000-26,000

 

This special piece is expertly crafted in 600g of sterling silver. Originally created as a special edition in the jewels department, it comes in a velvet, padded jewellery box and was made in two versions; one with a shoulder strap in sterling silver Chaine d’Ancre and one in leather.  This is one of the rarest and most important Hermes collector pieces.

 

 

A CUSTOM SHINY VERT EMERAUDE & GERANIUM NILOTICUS CROCODILE BICOLOR BIRKIN 30 WITH BRUSHED GOLD HARDWARE

HERMÈS, 2015

30 w x 22 h x 15 d cm

Estimate: HK$500,000-600,000 / US$65,000-78,000

 

It is well-established that the custom, exotic-skin Birkin’s are some of the rarest and most important on the market. Within this group, what makes certain examples stand out is the colours used.

There are two elements of this; the collectability of each colour individually and the aesthetics of the combination.

In this case, Vert Emeraude is the most desirable shade available, Geranium is also quite sought-after, and the combination is beautiful and classic.

Paired with this impressive combination is brushed gold hardware, further enhancing this superb example.

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Handbags and Accessories

 

Auctions: 30 May (Christie’s 30th Anniversary Sale) & 1 June (Handbags and Accessories Sale)

 

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, No. 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai

 

Preview: 26 May – 28 May - 10:30am – 6:00pm

         29-31 May 10:30am – 6:30pm         

 

 

PRESS CONTACT: Lee Bingle | +852 2978 9966| lbingle@christies.com

 

 

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.