Most Expensive Handbags Sold at Auction Since 2020
No surprise Hermès Birkin and Kelly Bags dominate the list of record breaking bags sold at auction since 2020. Also not surprising is the frequency of Hermès Himalaya and smaller Hermès bags topping the price charts. While price records have been broken in multiple geographies, Hong Kong remains the leader for sales of the most expensive bags. Take a closer look at the bags and record breaking prices.
Most Expensive Hermès Ombre Lizard Birkin 25
Sotheby’s longest-standing Handbag Auction Record belongs to an Hermès Ombre Lizard Birkin 25 sold in March 2020 for $137,500 in a New York auction. Ombre Lizard bags have continued to be extremely scarce on the market, and this Birkin from 2019 is a prime example with superb coloring. Often compared to Himalayas, each Ombre Lizard bag sports a unique pattern. The previous record for a Lizard Birkin was also for an Ombre Lizard example set at $120,300 in May 2017. The record for a non-Ombre Lizard bag, a Black Kelly with Palladium Hardware, is over $88,500 set in November 2020. The record for a non-Ombre Lizard Birkin 25, a Gris Fonce Example with Palladium Hardware, is over $67,500, set way back in 2014.
Most Expensive Hermès Himalaya Birkin 30
The Himalaya Birkin 30 sold for a record $226,180 in July 9, 2021. The Hermès Himalaya Birkin 30 is the most common Himalayan on the secondary market, making up over 40% of those offered at auction. The previous record for a Bikrin 30 Himalaya was nearly $211,800, set in December 2020.
Most Expensive "Regular" Leather Hermès Kelly
We are defining ‘Regular’ as a leather bag that is not exotic, custom, or limited edition, with no rare or exceptional attributes. The record for this category was set by Sotheby’s in October 2021 with the sale of an Hermès Gold Epsom Kelly 28 with Gold Hardware in Hong Kong for nearly $45,500. This tops the previous record set about four months earlier at $45,080 for a Sable Butler 25 with Gold hardware.
Most Expensive Hermès Himalaya Kelly 32
Sotheby’s set another Himalaya bag record in October 2021 with the sale of a Hermès Himalaya Kelly 32 for $189,000 in a Las Vegas auction that included rare collectible sneakers, jewelry, watches and cars. This broke the previous record of $151,200 also set by Sotheby’s in August 2020.
Most Expensive Hermès Kelly Pochette
Sotheby’s set its fourth Hermès Auction record of 2021 with the New York sale of an Ombre Lizard Kelly Pochette in December for $75,600. This broke the previous Kelly Pochette record of $63,000 also for an Ombre Lizard example set by Sotheby’s one year prior. Kelly Pochettes are becoming more popular than ever, and the current leather record which tops $35,250, and the Crocodile and Alligator record of over $52,350 may both soon be broken.
Most Expensive Chanel Bag
Sotheby’s landmark sales of the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld’s collection heralded many important moments. One of which was the sale of the designer’s personal black alligator embossed Biarritz tote for a record-setting price of $106,350 in December 2021. No Chanel bag has come close to this number at auction, and none are expected to surpass it soon.
Most Expensive Leather Hermès Birkin
Highest Price Paid for a Leather Birkin $136,490 April 29, 2022
Sotheby’s set the record for any leather Birkin sold at auction in April 2022. The possibly unique Birkin 25 example with a metallic Silver Chevre body and metallic Bronze piping for $136,490 was sold in Hong Kong. The rare piece, dating from 2005, broke the previous record of $126,000 set by Sotheby’s in December 2021 with an all Silver Metallic Birkin 25.
Most Expensive "Regular" Leather Hermès Birkin
April 29, 2022 saw two records set by Sotheby’s. Along with the ultimate Leather Birkin Record, the sale of a Rose Sakura Birkin 25 with Palladium Hardware for $64,230 broke the long-standing record for ‘regular’ leather Birkins set way back in 2015 by a Blue Sapphire Swift example at over $53,650.
Most Expensive Bag Sold at Auction in Europe
Most recently a new record was set for any handbag sold at auction in Europe with Sotheby’s Paris sale of an Hermès Himalayan Kelly 25 for over $345,000 in September 2022. The previous European record was set by an Hermès Himalaya Birkin 35 that sold for around $206,750 in 2019. Higher prices have been paid for bags in Great Britain, though the record there now stands below Europe’s at just over $300,000 for a Neige Faubourg Birkin.