Image via Heritage Auctions

If you were to ask any handbag lover what the most expensive handbag to ever sell at auction was, I’m pretty sure that we’d all guess the same thing: an Hermes Crocodile Birkin with White Gold & Diamond Hardware. It just makes sense; not only are Hermes bags (and Birkins in particular) notorious for holding their value and doing well at resale, but a crocodile Birkin with diamond-encrusted hardware is one of the most elusive and expensive collector’s items in the world.

When a friend alerted me a few weeks ago that a Dallas auction house was set to put a group of rare Hermes bags on the auction block, I told her than the estimated $80,000 price for the “Hermes Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware” (as the auction house called it) you see above sounded a bit low; I guessed that it would go in the $100,000+ range. That being said, even I am a bit shocked at the price this bag actually sold for earlier this week…

$203,150.

To an anonymous bidder, of course. Women’s Wear Daily reports that this is the most expensive bag ever sold at auction, which is almost comforting – if this were instead a run-of-the-mill price, I’d be concerned. Although because this bag isn’t special beyond the obvious ways – it wasn’t owned by a celebrity, for example – it’s possible that these are merely the numbers we’re going to be seeing for this design in sought-after colors from here on out. Or maybe there’s just an heiress out there who couldn’t restrain herself from this particular shade of red?

Also a part of the auction: a 35cm Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin with Palladium hardware, which sold for $113,525 (strikes me as a bit high for no diamonds!), a 35cm Shiny Braise Red Porosus Crocodile Birkin with Palladium hardware for a cool $95,000 and a 30cm Himalayan Crocodile Birkin, also with Palladium, for $80,663.

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  • Elyse Greenberg

    That is an insane amount of money to spend on 1 purse – but it is positively gorgeous

  • Shirley J

    its an extremely beautiful bag!!! but out of my league!!!! lol

  • mia

    I am a handbag enthusiast and this is an interesting fact but that is ridiculously expensive.

  • Katia

    So expensive! but so pretty!
    Will never have one but dreaming is alloud!!

  • Sandra Rowley

    All of my friends and family think I am crazy for purchasing the designer bags that I do….I think they would have me committed if I bought this, oh, and I would also be divorced. I love nice things and believe you get what you pay for, but at some point this is complete over indulgence. (but it is beautiful)

    • annika

      i agree with you, Sandra. my husband allows me to splurge on shoes, clothes and purses but not to the extent of us losing the roof over our heads or not even able to afford a loaf of bread or travel. it’s true what they say, once you’ve got a designer purse, you’ll want another one and won’t settle for a fake. i haven’t own a fake yet and God forbid, i won’t ever….i’d rather save up on my euros for a real designer bag than strut my way with a fake or a knock-off.

  • Flaw

    Not the Birkin I´d go to if I could afford one. I can´t deny its a beautiful bag, but that´s a lot of money, for sure

  • Simar

    It’s a beautiful bag…but I would never spend that much money on a bag even if I was a billionaire.

  • ninjaninja

    And there are no diamonds!?

  • ninjaninja

    $203,150 is practically a down payment for me!

  • rose60610

    I saw this bag in whatever the Hermes color is for “fire-engine red”, gold, diamonds and all in the Hermes HQ in Paris, in May 2009. It retailed for around $250,000. An auction price of 203K sounds right. Very pretty. I hope it went to a good home. My guess the buyer has a bodyguard.

  • Kathy

    I saw this Birkin in the Bal Harbor Hermes store about two years ago. I was priced at $187,250.00. I had only heard of, but never seen a diamond encrusted Birkin. I thought it was a myth until I saw it in person at Bal Harbor

  • Alice

    Although it’s gorgeous and classic and in pristine condition, I’m not sure what is essentially a leather handbag is worth $200,000 + dollars. Because, let’s be honest people, it’s really just a bag.

  • Antonia

    It’s a beautiful beautiful bag (I love H exotics), but I would never spend that much money for ONE purse!

  • annabelle

    then what is the usual retail price for this one? i know a member in the forum has a few of the croc with diamond hardware (not sure of the metal) birkins in her collection.

  • hikarupanda

    It’s a beautiful bag but no matter how rich you are I think it’s insane to spend that kind of money on a bag….

  • Kiwishopper

    Its crazy a bag would cost so much!!

  • Musette

    It’s beautiful but I would be embarrassed to spend that much money on a handbag.

    xo

  • J Umm

    not worth it, id rather put a deposit in for a house/flat.

    STYLE DECORUM

    • annika

      indeed! =]

      I’ve read somewhere here in the blogosphere of a Filipino blogger who upgrades her Hermés purses seasonally and yet she doesn’t have her own home. How pathetic.

      • GlennBond

        It’s because more than likely her money is coming from corruption! In that part of the world if she is living there. So many of the women there buy these high end bags from corrupted money while kids are living in the streets! It’s sickening. They don’t care. It’s all about them! Hypocrites in a so called Catholic country!

  • Caitlin

    Pretty bag but I would never actually shell out enough money for a Birkin (especially not THAT much) – I draw the line at a couple grand. Luckily I’m not into exotics, so I wouldn’t be tempted anyway!

  • olivera davidoff

    The Hermes birkin burgundy croc amazes at the level people are willing to pay to own a handbag that technically requires you to further buy insurance on it, nurse it like a baby, lock it away in a safe when your not home…. The price of ownership has just increased some more and yes the taxes you have had to pay after the auction price of $203,150.00! Let’s not even discuss the import duty if you are an international buyer.

    • Alexandra Davidoff

      I agree 100% Who wants to have to act like a body guard for their own bag?

  • Katy Morris

    Wow! Just wow!

  • JenG

    Birkin bags are beautiful, but even if I was a multi-millionaire. I couldn’t see paying 200000+ for a handbag.

  • louch

    Most beautiful bag I’ve ever seen.

  • gpc

    Just plain ridiculous and if we are all honest with ourselves, really not even that pretty. I can’t help but think that somehow the word ‘birkin’ for some just requires an automatic “beautiful”.

  • Dana

    That’s one badass bag… Would love to be on the receiving end of that $100k to pay off those student loans though…lol

  • Nadia

    CRAZY!!!!!! Even if I had that kinda money to spend on a bag, i wouldn’t go with that one!

  • Mari

    I actually wouldn’t buy that if I could. Red snake and diamonds? Together? On a Birkin? Why….

  • nappy

    that is just gorgeous! but i wouldnt spend that much on a bag.. a silent bidder huh… does Victoria Beckham already have a Birkin in that color? i think not, so i’m guessing it was her! hahaha (coz what i saw her carrying was a wine colored croc).. i want to know who won that bag! hahaha

  • Mirna

    Nice bag but for that price she could’ve feed a whole 3rd world country…. Probably for a year.

  • mochababe73

    I am not a fan of exotic skins, but I like this one. I guess that it’s the color. And diamonds. Who doesn’t love diamonds.
    The article in WWD stated that a collector bought it. So, I doubt whomever bought the bag will be carrying it on a daily basis. The buyer probably has a display of expensive and rare handbags.
    It’s extravagant and overindulgent, but I have no problem with anyone spending that type of money on anything. Consumers like that keep the economy moving. Let’s not forget the person who sold the bag. They win as well. The money trickles down to the auction house who in turn can pay employees.

    • Alexandra Davidoff

      “who doesn’t love diamonds..”

      I don’t love diamonds.

  • Karen

    Wow, exorbitant! But it’s Hermes ;)

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vladi Dusil
  • Jennie

    Beautiful piece but if I could afford it, just carrying it out would give me a heart attack

  • kb

    This bag is absolutely beautiful.

  • Jaclyn

    who wouldnt spend $200,000+ on a red crocodile birkin, with diamond encrusted hardware?

  • Dana

    while the bag is pretty gorgeous, i think its pretty ridiculous to pay this much for a bag!

  • Chris

    Of course, it is more than strange to think sb would spend this much money on a handbag. I know I would not – even if I could. However, I have no problem with other people spending this much money. Think of a person who has already everything, a horse, private jet, Ferrari etc. If somebody is willing – and able – to spend this much money on a handbag, good for them. They keep the economy going, at least I hope.

  • Pinkfeet

    I don’t care no bag is worth that amount of $.

    Not Hermes, Chanel ..by no one. I don’t care if Karl hunted down the animal himself, and stretched the leather at his villa in Italy. No effin way.

    Sometimes a bag IS just a bag. after a certain price point, and they are getting outta hand .. just say no.

    I mean, do you want the bag because it’s Hermes/Chanel or because you LIKE it?

    To me, a Birkin is plain and boring. Deadly dull and boxy. Do you want it BECAUSE it cost so much or do you really really like the bag? Honestly…

    I don’t believe the super rich keep the econ going .. they avoid taxes and hardly ever pay any ..how does that help the econ? Shopping will not bring the country back. Please.

    • Alexandra Davidoff

      Agree 100%

    • annika

      so true, pinkfeet!
      the rich knows how to avoid taxes and they always find a way thru their clout.
      women or husbands or lovers for that matter buy Birkin because it’s an Hermés. Hermés = status symbol. period. :(

      • Alexandra Davidoff

        Again, I agree 100%

  • Amanda K

    wow…

  • ninjaninja

    I wonder who purchased this bag.

  • ninjaninja

    And now much money this individual has.

  • ninjaninja

    I meant how, not now.

  • Laura

    I could pay my house off AND put on an addition/build a new garage with $200K. I should make friends with whoever shelled out at much money for a purse. I know it’s a Birkin with diamonds, and it’s croc, but STILL.

  • FashionIsMyHobby

    College tuition for my two kids!

  • Joy

    Insane!! I would scared to actually use it.

    • Amanda Jones

      The people who purchase these kind of items have bodyguards.

    • Amanda Jones

      The people who purchase these kind of items have bodyguards.

  • Nancy from SB

    I feel sorry for the poor crocodile. How did they kill it? Anal electrocution like animals killed for fur?

    I love animals….

  • mike J Tx

    This bag is said to be won by Rosmah Mansor, wife of the president/ Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak.

    Mansor has many other Hermes bags herself and is an avid collectors of fine designers goods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosmah_Mansor

  • Alice

    Sorry but I appreciate the choice of hermes, they sell luxury bags, they are unique and exclusive, prices follow…

  • camilla

    love hermes love love love

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  • T-Shirt Store

    This bag is looking so cute…Last week i also Buy T-Shirt from Online T-Shirt Shop…My T-Shirt is looking so cute..

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  • ibitola

    Gush!that’s too too expensive,d only reason why I’ll buy a bag for such an exorbitant price is if it’ll b my gate-pass to heaven,anything short of that no way!

  • http://twitter.com/luvingvintage Tiffani

    $203,150…hey, if thats what u like and u got it like that…go for it? me personally…i just dont understand

  • Annynonamous

    Many of these Hermes bag owners use and re-sell them.
    They do keep some of their value

  • Lory Donovan

    I own a white Crocodile Birkin bag, which was given to me several years ago. It is in perfect condition as it was used only once, does anyone know where i can get an appraisal for it?

  • MAHIR

    I LOVE IT !!! I HAVE A SIMILAR ON BUT NOT WITH THE DIAMONDS. IT COST ME 75 % LESS THEM THAT , LIKE $18,000 CAD

    • Datman2012

      That sad I bet you think your shit dont stink …I feel sorry for you

      • Amanda Jones

        Datman2012. Remember Jesus said “Don’t Judge.” You should take your own advice and leave people alone. These handbags are an investment just
        like buying a home is an investment. Who are you to judge someone. You need Jesus in your life, at least you need to take his advice and stop judging others.

      • Dylan

        Don’t force your religion on people sweetheart.

      • GlennBond

        Yeah. I am sure Jesus meant that in talking about a $200,000 handbag! While many kids out there go hungry!

  • Datman2012

    So sad I would even spend no more the 500. On my wife purse I would never buy her a purse that cost anywhere near that..people need jesus in the life

  • Lara (LAIR-A)

    Meh. Birkin or not, it doesn’t do anything for me.

  • Mia

    That is a gorgeous bag no doubt but personally I think that is insane to spend that kind of money on one bag and then having to worry about it getting stolen or torn out of your hand while walking down the street. You can never really enjoy it.

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