April 14, 2016

Hermès Birkin Bag Sells For $US298,000


This story is 'priceless' on so many levels.
Jane Mallory Birkin is an English actress and singer now based in France. 
She is perhaps best known for the song below, and for being the namesake of the popular Hermès Birkin bag.


The Kelly bag was made for Grace Kelly: the late actress who became Princess of Monaco.

Whilst it it true that incredible craftsmanship is involved in making any Hermès bags, and that a 5-figure sum may be justified, a six-figure sum seems somewhat over the top for most of us!



A rare Hermès Birkin handbag with diamonds on its hardware has sold for $298,000, breaking the previous record for a resold handbag of $222,000.

Never used, the crocodile bag, in a fire-engine color that Hermès calls “braise,” had been kept in store-bought condition by two former owners, each of whom bought it with profit in mind.

This raises an interesting question. Is the Birkin a handbag or an investment? 

Most handbags are like cars: They devalue rapidly once purchased. Birkins, and some other Hermès bags, like the Kelly, can be the rare exception if they’re well-maintained; the previous record-breaking bag was also a Birkin.

  • A rare Hermès 35cm Birkin shiny porosus crocodile bag in a fire-engine red called ‘braise’ is manufactured in France in 2008. Its hardware features 10.08 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds in 171 grams of 18K white gold.
  • 2. The bag is sold at a Hermès store in New York City in 2008 to a private American collector for $160,000.
  • 3. Jeffrey Berk acquires the never-carried bag in May 2015 from that customer in ‘store fresh’ condition. He sets the sale price at $360,000.
  • 4. In September 2015, the bag is shown by appointment aboard a yacht during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
  • 5. After two earlier deals fall through, the bag sells in March 2016 for $298,000, beating the former record of $222,000, set at a Christie’s auction in June 2015. (The Christie’s price also included commissions to the auction house.)
  • 6. A few days later, the Birkin is delivered by Brinks armored air transport to a Los Angeles buyer’s representative, who describes his client as an American billionaire.

The bag was an investment for Jeffrey Berk, the founder of Boca Raton, Fla.-based reseller Privé Porter. He sold it via a personal representative of the buyer and says he doesn’t know who the buyer is.

 “Will it go into that warehouse full of crates like in Indiana Jones? I don’t know,” says Mr. Berk.

In 2008, the bag was sold for $160,000 at an Hermès boutique in New York City, according to the original sales receipt. The dealer declines to say how much he paid for the bag, arguing that Christie’s didn’t divulge the profit of the previous record-breaker. 

By Christina Binkley

With many thanks to The WSJ

Picture credit for Princess Grace:  Look On Line



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