Collecting guide: Hermès handbags for every budget

Whether you have £1,000 to spend or are ready to go to £50,000-plus, there’s a Hermès bag for you in our Handbags & Accessories sales

A selection of Hermès bags offered at Christie's

Named after Evelyne Bertrand, the former head of Hermès’s equestrian department, this bag was originally conceived in 1978 to hold horse-grooming equipment. It soon became a classic cross-body favourite with Hermès collectors.

Hermès handbags for £1,000 to £1,500

A Craie Clémence Leather Mini Évelyne TPM, with gold hardware, Hermès, 2021. Estimate: €1,000-1,500. Offered in Handbags & Accessories on 3-17 November 2022 at Christie’s Online

Hermès handbags for £2,000 to £3,000

A Gold Clémence leather Picotin Lock 22 with gold hardware. Hermès, 2021. 22 w x 22 h x 18 d cm. Sold for HK$40,320 in Handbags Online: The Hong Kong Edit, 8-21 September 2023 at Christie’s Online

In recent years petite handbags have become the most collectible handbags on the secondary market. The Kelly Pochette, a favourite with Hermès collectors since the model’s inception, is beautifully executed in bright orange and structured Epsom Leather. A standout piece, perfectly sized to hold evening belongings, the lightweight Pochette is the perfect accompaniment for a summer night out.

Hermès handbags for £3,000 to £5,000

A Nata Clémence Leather Picotin Lock 18 with gold hardware. Hermès, 2021. 18 w x 18 h x 14 d cm. Sold for HK$37,800 in Handbags Online: The Hong Kong Edit, 8-21 September 2023 at Christie’s Online

The Micro Mini Kelly might be just 15 centimetres in width, but it packs maximum punch when it comes to desirability. As the primary market has trended towards the smallest iterations of collectible models, the auction market has followed suit. The Micro Mini Kelly has been discontinued for more than a decade and is therefore extremely coveted at auction. The original shoulder strap on this piece is a welcome addition.

Hermès handbags for £5,000 to £8,000

A natural chamonix leather sellier kelly 32 with gold hardware, Hermès, 1966. 32 w x 23 h x 10 d cm. Sold for HK$94,500 in Handbags & accessories on 25 November 2023 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Orange has been the hallmark colour of Hermès since the Second World War, when the company’s packaging supplier ran out of the traditional brown and beige paper it used for boxes. The only solution was to utilise the plain orange cardboard that was available. The now iconic shade is referred to as ‘Orange H’, or Hermès Orange, and is recognised the world over.

Hermès handbags for £8,000 to £10,000

A limited edition white evercolor leather optique constance 24 with enamel & palladium hardware, Hermès, 2018. 24 w x 19 h x 7 d cm. Sold for HK$81,900 in Handbags & accessories on 25 November 2023 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Said to have left the factory on the very day that designer Catherine Chaillet’s fifth child was born, the Constance bag entered the market in 1959, named after the designer’s newborn baby. It was conceived as a youthful design for the modern women, worn across the body or over the shoulder.

The art of marbling began in Japan in the 12th century. The technique of suminagashi, or floating ink, began on paper before transferring to silk. The expertise required to create a marbled silk scarf by Hermès is known only by one family and has been passed down through the generations. Each Carré is unique, and for a very limited iteration, the silk was used to create a Constance bag.

Hermès handbags for £10,000 to £15,000

A limited edition white swift leather & canvas birkin 35 with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2010. 35 w x 25 h x 18 d cm. Sold for HK$88,200 in Handbags & accessories on 25 November 2023 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

A black Birkin 25 will be forever chic, durable and desirable. Its front, reverse and side panels are crafted of novillo leather, while the top flap is expressed in glossy, shiny crocodile. It’s this touch of the exotic that makes this limited-edition Birkin so highly sought after by collectors. The gold hardware adds to its overall sophistication.

Hermès handbags for £15,000 to £25,000

A Shiny Salvator Lizard Ombré Birkin 25, with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2020. Estimate: €20,000-25,000. Offered in Handbags & Accessories on 3-17 November 2022 at Christie’s Online

In recent years the value of lizard pieces at auction has increased substantially. The Ombré Lizard Birkin 25 was only produced for three years, making it one of the most coveted bags at auction. The delicate gradation and the circular raindrop pattern of the skin add to its desirability.

Hermès handbags for £25,000 to £30,000

A Hermes Constance 24 bag

A limited edition Bleu Encre, Bleu Zellige, Vert Cyprès and Bleu Nuit Shiny Alligator and Niloticus Lizard Au Bout Du Monde Constance 24, with palladium hardware, Hermès, 2017

Hermès’s playful aesthetic is exemplified in its limited-edition iterations of classic styles released each season. The newest of these is the Au Bout Du Monde Constance, which combines exotic skins, leather types and colours. The prominent H clasp in this limited-edition model is crafted from metal and enamel.

Hermès handbags for £50,000-plus

A Hermes Birkin 35 bag

A Shiny Marron Foncé Porosus Crocodile Birkin 35 with 18k gold and diamond hardware, Hermès, 2007

Consistently the most sought-after pieces at auction, Hermès Diamond bags celebrate exemplary craftsmanship and haute bijouterie. They are made from the finest exotic skin that Hermès utilises and adorned with 18k white gold. With its hardware inset with more than 200 colourless, brilliant white diamonds, this exquisite Porosus Crocodile Birkin will be the centrepiece of even the most impressive collections.

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