Handbag auctions are all the rage among luxury spenders, and Dallas-based Heritage Auctions is leading the wave of success. But, really, are you shocked? Dallas is known for its well-dressed, perfectly accessorized women.
The brand that is putting this auction house in the record books? Hermès Birkin, but of course. This ultra luxurious brand, named after actress Jane Birkin, is well known but seldom owned as only an exclusive group of women have the means to get their hands on one.
Birkins can be made of calf leather, ostrich, crocodile and lizard. Because these bags are released infrequently and without much notice, you can expect a long waitlist if you are in the market for one of these elite totes.
“If you buy the right, special pieces, we have seen them go up in value, and this is often what encourages our top clients to spend top dollar on the rarities,” says Matt Rubinger of Heritage Auctions.
At a recent Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills Luxury Accessories event, a matte bougainvillea porosus crocodile Birkin with palladium hardware sold for $106,250, and a shiny blue electric porosus crocodile Birkin bag with palladium hardware was released to a bidder paying $87,500. This event gives Heritage the distinction of having sold the top 10 most valuable Hermès Birkins ever offered at auction.
“Our auction marked Heritage’s grand Beverly Hills luxury debut, and it certainly surpassed our expectations,” says Matt Rubinger, director of luxury accessories at Heritage. “Judging by the results, it’s clear our clients were pleased as well over the opportunity to own these rare bags now rather than waiting for years through traditional outlets.”
Those were not the only bags selling for more than my car and college education combined. Hermes rarities were in high demand as a Hermès special order horseshoe 35cm shiny blue electric and indigo porosus crocodile Birkin bag with gold hardware fetched $81,250. A rare light mimosa porosus crocodile Hermes 40cm Birkin bag with palladium hardware surpassed its estimate when it sold for $75,000.
“Collectability is often about rarity,” Rubinger says. “Very special pieces are what do well. Hermes bags are the best-made bags in the world and certain models, colors and skins can be extremely difficult to find.
“Over the years, since the launch of this category, we have seen collectors develop. These people are building superb collections and are looking for certain pieces to continue them. If you buy the right, special pieces, we have seen them go up in value, and this is often what encourages our top clients to spend top dollar on the rarities.”
Heritage Auctions accepts a wide variety of luxury handbags. Think Celine, Chanel, etc. Do you have a bag worthy of their auction block? There are value guidelines that will determine what sale your item will enter, but if it’s a good bag, then it is welcome at Heritage Auctions.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million and with 800,000-plus online bidder members.