Handbags and Accessories

The 10 Most Expensive Hermès Bags Sold at Auction in 2023

By Lindsey Weiss
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Hermès Birkin 20 Faubourg Snow

Birkins and Kellys Top the Charts in 2023

The top 10 most expensive Hermès bags sold at auction in 2023 were divided equally between Birkin or Kelly bags at Sotheby's. The most expensive Hermès bags were a mix of newer limited edition models, recent year Himalaya bags and a few rare vintage bags. Not surprisingly Hermès diamond Birkin and Kelly bags were also included among the most expensive. All but one of the most expensive Hermès bags sold in Hong Kong. Beyond the top 10 the next most expensive Hermès bags were also made up exclusively of Birkin and Kelly bags.

Hermès Birkin 20 Neige Faubourg Sellier Palladium Hardware, 2021

#1 Birkin 20 Faubourg Neige Sellier Matte Alligator Palladium Hardware $280,670

While prices for the Snow or Neige Birkin 20 Faubourg have declined since peaking in early 2022 when it first hit the secondary market, it remains a highly coveted bag among collectors. A Birkin 20 Faubourg Snow from 2021 topped the charts as the most expensive Hermès bag sold at auction in 2023 at just over $280,000 sold in Hong Kong during the April sale. The Neige or Snow Faubourg was first released in 2021 and is the only Birkin 20 Faubourg with an Matte Alligator Body, while the other Birkin 20 Faubourgs only have Matte Alligator flaps.

Hermès So Black Kelly 32 Limited Edition Black Box Feathers Sellier Black PVD Hardware, 2010

#2 Kelly 32 Feather So Black sold for $264,160

As one of the most influential limited-edition collectibles in the market, the So Black collection was designed by French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. As Hermès’s former creative director, his works include Kelly Pochettes, the Himalayas, Shadow Birkins, and the now discontinued Teddy collection. However, one collection remains most iconic and memorable among collectors, being the So Black collection. Introduced and debuted in 2010, the So Black collection was in Gaultier’s final runway show with Hermès before his departure. Featuring all-black elements including the packaging, the So Black is the only collection with matching black PVD hardware. The Limited Edition Black Box Feathers So Black Kelly 32 Sellier Black PVD Hardware, 2010 features the craftsmanship of black Box leather, saturated-black natural feathers, and black PVD hardware. Partnering with Maison Lemarié, the Haute Couture feather métier founded in 1880, Hermès handpicked the finest feathers, and attached them onto the Kelly one at a time. It created a beautiful feathers panel, marking an important milestone in Fashion History.

Hermès Mini Kelly II 20 Black Shiny Porosus Crocodile18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2023

#3 Mini Kelly 20 II Black Shiny Porosus Crocodile White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2023 sold for $214,630

The Hermès Mini Kelly in Shiny Crocodile Black with Diamonds, store fresh from 2023 took the third spot for 2023. The popularity of the Mini Kelly 20 didn't slow in 2023 and this combination is the perfect blingy evening bag for the ultimate Hermès bag collector. Hermès only uses VVS F diamonds on their bags and 18K white gold.

Hermès Birkin 25 Himalaya White Matte Niloticus Crocodile Palladium Hardware, 2020

#4 Birkin 25 Himalaya White Matte Niloticus Crocodile, 2020 sold for $198,120

The Birkin 25 Himalaya is a perennial top 10 when it comes to the most expensive Hermès bags. While a few top Hermès collectors knew about the Himalaya Birkin, it wasn't until 2010 it became the ultimate IT bag. After Jean-Paul Gaultier sent the Himalaya Birkin down the runway in 2010, it has consistently been one of the most sought after Hermès bags. While it is easier to purchase a Birkin Himalaya today than 2010, it remains a difficult bag to secure for most collectors and demand remains much higher than the primary supply from Hermès boutiques.

Hermès Birkin 25 Bleu Jean Shiny Porosus Crocodile 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2006

#4 Birkin 25 Bleu Jean Shiny Porosus Crocodile 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2006 sold for $198,120

The second diamond Hermès bag on the top 10 list in 2023 is a Birkin 25 in Shiny Bleu Jean Crocodile from 2006. Diamond Hermès bags are the rarest of all of the Birkin and Kelly bags so very few come to the secondary market. The Diamond Birkin bag has a special box with an attached lid and fitted interior and the Cadena lock also has its own box. Diamond Birkins retail for more than any other Hermès bag. Diamond Birkins that aren't Himalayas retail for about $100,000 generally sell between $70,000-$200,000 on the secondary market. The result of the fourth most expensive Hermès bag at nearly $200,000 is at the high end for this Hermès bag, especially since it is from 2006 and more than twice the retail in 2006.

Hermès Kelly 28 Himalaya White Matte Niloticus Crocodile Retourne Palladium Hardware, 2021

#6 Kelly 28 Himalaya White Matte Niloticus Crocodile Retourne Palladium Hardware, 2021 sold for $181,610

The Himalaya Kelly bag is also regularly including in the most expensive Hermès bag lists with a Himalaya Kelly 25 from 2022 selling for over $380,000 in 2022. An Hermès Kelly 28 Himalaya from 2021 sold for just over $180,000 in 2023. While prices have come down from 2022 levels, we still strong demand for store fresh Himalaya Kelly bags with the Kelly 25 Himalaya still selling at the highest premium.

Hermès Birkin 20 Faubourg Midnight Black PVD Hardware, 2022

#7 Birkin 20 Faubourg Midnight Sellier Matte Alligator Black Pvd Hardware, 2022 sold for $166,800

The fourth Limited Edition Birkin 20 Fabourg is the Midnight version in Black Swift Leather with a Matte Black Alligator Flap. The most distinctive feature of the Midnight Birkin 20 Faubourg is the Black PVD hardware. While Midnight Faubourg doesn't sell at the same premium as the Snow or White Birkin 20 Faubourg, it has been selling at ranges similar to the first versions of the bag produced in 2019. The Day and Night Birkin 20 Faubourg bags have sold at auciton for between $160,000 - $180,000 in 2021 and 2022. The newest Birkin 20 Faubourg shown during the Spring 2024 runway is all leather in Black Swift with widows and awnings that appear drawn on the front of the bag in white with an oversized lock that looks like a Disco ball. While this first all leather Birkin 20 is likely to create an initial frenzy, prices are likely to remain well under $100,000.

Hermès Birkin 30 Bleu Electrique Shiny Porosus Crocodile 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2014

#8 Birkin 30 Bleu Electrique Shiny Porosus Crocodile18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware, 2014 sold for $156,845

The third Hermès diamond bag on our top 10 list is a Birkin 30 in Bleu Electrique Shiny Crocodile from 2014. Diamond Hermès Birkins that aren't Himalaya bags have been selling between $100,000-$200,000 depending on the size, color, year and condition. Many collectors of the Diamond bags are looking for bold bags and in many cases prefer brighter colors and shiny crocodile. Collectors that are looking for a more subtle diamond Hermès bag will opt for a Himalaya Diamond bag but will also need to pay much more. The retail price for a Diamond Himalaya Birkin is about $200,000 versus $100,000 for a regular crocodile Diamond Birkin. The secondary market price for the Diamond Himalaya Birkin is also more than twice the regular crocodile diamond Birkin at over $400,000.

Hermès Mini Kelly 20 I Rose Bonbon Shiny Porosus Crocodile Gold Hardware, 1997

#8 Mini Kelly 20 I Rose Bonbon Shiny Porosus Crocodile Gold Hardware, 1997 sold for $156,845

The oldest Hermès bag on the top 10 list is a 1997 Mini Kelly 20 I in Rose Bonbon Shiny Porosus Crocodile and Gold Hardware. This incredibly rare vintage mini kelly bag sold for way above its estimate of $39,000 to $65,000 and far exceeded the Vert Emerald Shiny Alligator Mini Kelly 20 I from 1998 that sold for $53,340 in March 2023. The first generation Mini Kelly 20 with the original bracelet handle is easier to carry over your wrist and many collectors prefer this model to the newer mini Kelly 20 II. The design of this bag also allows for more generous storage due to wider depth and slightly taller height.

Hermès Kellywood Perspective Cavaliere Kelly 22 Fauve Barenia, Multicolor Clemence, Togo, Epsom, Madame, Tadelakt, Chèvre and Wood Palladium Hardware, 2022

#10 Hermès Kelly 22 Kellywood Perspective Cavaliere Palladium Hardware, 2022 sold for $148,590

First released in 2020, the Kellywood introduced a new size for its latest limited edition Hermès Kelly bag: the Kelly 22. Originally produced in Bog Oak with an innovative Larmé inlay technique, the latest version features a body of solid beechwood, and a front panel with a Bauhaus-inspired “Perspective Cavalier” pattern designed by the art collective Anamorphée. Requiring the joining of six different types of leather, spanning eleven different colors, totalling 60 pieces, this Hermès bag beautifully displays Hermès marquetry mastery. The front flap is made out of Fauve Barenia leather with white contrasting stitching further demonstrating the highly precise mastery of Hermès artisans. Produced in an extremely limited quantity, the Kellywood Perspective Cavaliere is one of the rarest collectible Hermès bags.

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