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
Elyse Greenberg
10 years ago

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

Shirley J
Shirley J
10 years ago

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

mia
mia
10 years ago

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

Katia
Katia
10 years ago

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

Sandra Rowley
Sandra Rowley
10 years ago

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
annika
10 years ago
Reply to  Sandra Rowley

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
Flaw
10 years ago

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
Simar
10 years ago

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

ninjaninja
ninjaninja
10 years ago

And there are no diamonds!?

ninjaninja
ninjaninja
10 years ago

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

rose60610
rose60610
10 years ago

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
Kathy
10 years ago

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
Alice
10 years ago

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
Antonia
10 years ago

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

annabelle
annabelle
10 years ago

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
hikarupanda
10 years ago

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
Kiwishopper
10 years ago

Its crazy a bag would cost so much!!

Musette
Musette
10 years ago

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

xo

J Umm
J Umm
10 years ago

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

STYLE DECORUM

annika
annika
10 years ago
Reply to  J Umm

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
GlennBond
7 years ago
Reply to  annika

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
Caitlin
10 years ago

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
olivera davidoff
10 years ago

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
Alexandra Davidoff
10 years ago

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

Katy Morris
Katy Morris
10 years ago

Wow! Just wow!

JenG
JenG
10 years ago

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

louch
louch
10 years ago

Most beautiful bag I’ve ever seen.

gpc
gpc
10 years ago

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
Dana
10 years ago

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
Nadia
10 years ago

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

Mari
Mari
10 years ago

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

nappy
nappy
10 years ago

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
Mirna
10 years ago

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

mochababe73
mochababe73
10 years ago

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
Alexandra Davidoff
10 years ago
Reply to  mochababe73

“who doesn’t love diamonds..”

I don’t love diamonds.

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

Wow, exorbitant! But it’s Hermes 😉

Admin
10 years ago
Jennie
Jennie
10 years ago

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

kb
kb
10 years ago

This bag is absolutely beautiful.

Jaclyn
Jaclyn
10 years ago

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

Dana
Dana
10 years ago

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

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

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
Pinkfeet
10 years ago

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.

annika
annika
10 years ago
Reply to  Pinkfeet

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
Alexandra Davidoff
10 years ago
Reply to  annika

Again, I agree 100%

Alexandra Davidoff
Alexandra Davidoff
10 years ago
Reply to  Pinkfeet

Agree 100%

Amanda K
Amanda K
10 years ago

wow…

ninjaninja
ninjaninja
10 years ago

I wonder who purchased this bag.

ninjaninja
ninjaninja
10 years ago

And now much money this individual has.

ninjaninja
ninjaninja
10 years ago

I meant how, not now.

Laura
Laura
10 years ago

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
FashionIsMyHobby
10 years ago

College tuition for my two kids!

Joy
Joy
10 years ago

Insane!! I would scared to actually use it.

Amanda Jones
Amanda Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Joy

The people who purchase these kind of items have bodyguards.

Amanda Jones
Amanda Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Joy

The people who purchase these kind of items have bodyguards.

Nancy from SB
Nancy from SB
10 years ago

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
mike J Tx
10 years ago

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
Alice
10 years ago

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

camilla
camilla
10 years ago

love hermes love love love

kaushik
kaushik
10 years ago

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