Really Haute Handbag
A Hermès handbag, crafted from crocodile and Togo leather, recently sold for $125,000 at a Dallas auction. The bright red-and-black geranium porosus handbag — a version of the legendary Kelly — is part of the Petit H collection, which began as a traveling exhibition at various Hermès stores, starting in Paris in November 2010.
The collection used leftover pieces of other Hermès items to create what they call "unidentified poetic objects."
Designed by French artist Christian Astuguevieille, the geranium porosus includes five crocodile-covered feet attached to the handbag. The auction house, Heritage Auctions, described the piece as "probably the most collectible Kelly ever to come out of Hermès."
The handbag, which measures 12.5 inches across, originally retailed for around $60,000 and was expected to sell for $50,000 at the Holiday Luxury Signature Auction in Dallas on December 10-11. But an unidentified buyer purchased the one-of-a-kind handbag for a whopping $125,000, making it one of the most expensive handbags ever sold.
The geranium porosus sold for a truly astonishing amount, but it isn't the most expensive handbag even sold, despite claims from some news outlets.
A red crocodile Birkin called the "H Porosus," which features solid 18-karat white gold and pavé diamond hardware, is actually the most expensive Hermès handbag sold. It went for an unbelievable sum — $203,150 — at a 2011 Heritage Auction in Dallas.
Although these two Hermès handbags are especially pricey, even they aren't the most expensive handbags in the world. That honor — as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records — goes to the "1001 Nights" diamond purse from Mouawad. The heart-shaped purse, handcrafted from 18-karat gold and featuring 4,517 diamonds — a total of 381.92 carats — is valued at $3.8 million.