Hermes bag goes for $522k

A Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 on display at a preview at Christie's in Hong Kong last year. It is identical to the Hermes handbag that broke the record for the world's most expensive handbag sold at an auction yesterday. Only one o
A Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 on display at a preview at Christie's in Hong Kong last year. It is identical to the Hermes handbag that broke the record for the world's most expensive handbag sold at an auction yesterday. Only one or two are created each year globally.FILE PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HONG KONG • A diamond-encrusted, crocodile-skin Hermes handbag with white gold details has broken the record for the world's most expensive handbag sold at an auction, fetching nearly HK$2.94 million (S$521,900) at a Hong Kong sale.

The rare Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 went to an unknown phone bidder yesterdayafter intense bidding, said a spokesman for auction house Christie's.

The new record beat one set last year, also in Hong Kong, by an identical Hermes bag that sold for HK$2.32 million.

Only one or two Diamond Himalayas are created each year globally, making it one of the rarest production runs for handbags, according to Christie's.

"It actually has been rumoured that they will discontinue Himalayas altogether this year, which may be part of the reason that we've seen the increase in the value this season," said Mr Matthew Rubinger, Christie's international head of its handbags and accessories division.

Designer handbags are increasingly seen as investment opportunities and have become a craze for collectors, taking global auction houses by storm and scoring record prices.

The handmade bag - described by the London-based auctioneers as "the most desirable handbag in existence" - is encrusted with diamonds, while the buckle and trademark mini Hermes padlock are made from 18 carat white gold. The bag was made in 2014 and is from Hermes' "Birkin" series, named after actress and singer Jane Birkin, who was born in Britain and lives in France.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2017, with the headline 'Hermes bag goes for $522k'. Print Edition | Subscribe