It was raining bags at a recent Bonhams auction conducted at London’s Knightsbridge on the 16th of May. And there were no ordinary bags for a private collection of 64 Hermès bags that managed to fetch a whopping £562,750 which is around $890,000. The total had well surpassed its estimated pre-auction price which was calculated to only half of the total price realized at the auction.
The Bonhams auction garnered a lot of attention and the auction room was packed to the bits. Bids were pouring in from the telephone and also online. The reason behind this attention at the auction was the exquisite collection of bags Hermès Bags which date back to the 1950s. The most recent ones were from the 2008 collection. The collection included the ‘Kelly’, ‘Birkins’ and other smaller ‘Constance’ bags.
The Hermès Auction
The top of the list was a 2008 Hermès Dark Brown Matt Crocodile Birkin bag which fetched a staggering £37,250 which was around $58,816. You would be surprised to know that the estimate price of this bag was only £8,000-£12,000. Birkin bags are actually a tribute to British actress Jane Birkin who expressed her desire to Hermès chairman, Jean-Louis Dumas, that she wanted a leather bag that could be used over the weekends and thus came into being the Birkin bags. Crocodile bags have always been in vogue and very recently fashionista, diva, singer and mother of four designed a crocodile luxury handbag for the Selfridge’s winter collection. She is herself a proud owner of over a 100 Hermès bags which cost around £1.5 million.
Coming back to the auction, the other bags that were put under the hammer also included another Birkin dark brown crocodile bag from the 2003 collection. The pre-auction estimated price for this bag was £8000-£12,000 but it managed to fetch around £30,000. Almost double the estimated price. In the Birkin bags section, the other bags included a tan leather logo bag which was from the 2005 collection and fetched £10,000. Another orange tan leather logo bag from 2003 was also sold for £10,000. Yet another crocodile bag with black patent and of the 2003 collection was sold for an expensive price of £26,250.
There was also quite a collection of Kelly bags. The Kelly bags also have an anecdote attached to it. Back in 1956, the recently anointed Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, was trying to keep her pregnancy a secret from the surrounding paparazzi by concealing her baby bump with an Hermès Sac a Depeches bag. The picture clicked created quite a stir and was dispatched all over only to become the cover page of Life magazine. The bag that she was carrying was re-named the ‘Kelly’ bag and continues to be called so. At the auction, a black patent crocodile Kelly bag from 1999 was old for £21,250 after its pre-sale estimated price was for around £4,000- £6,000. A Hermès light brown patent crocodile Kelly bag 2003 was sold for £16,250 after an estimated price of £3,000-£5000. A 1998 Hermès a dark green patent crocodile bag was old for £18,750 after a pre-auction price of £3000-5000. In the smaller Constance bags section two Hermès crocodile bags fetched a price of £21,250 after a pre-sale price of £1500-2500. Three more togo leather bags were sold for £8,125 after a pre-auction estimate of £1200-1800.