High demand for Hermès continues in sales of Christie Handbags & Accessories HK $ 52.5m | Auction News | VALUE

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Among handbag lovers, the Hermès Himalayan Birkin is hailed as the Holy Grail in the collection, while the Himalayan Kelly has been dubbed the world’s rarest bag – both considered a major status symbol.

Christie’s once again proved in its Handbags & Accessories sales in Hong Kong this spring, with two Himalayan bags selling for more than HK $ 1.6 million (approximately US $ 203 million) being the most expensive lot and the third most expensive, respectively. both are Playful Quelle Idole.

Kathah 3915 | Hermès 2019 | Matte White Himalayan Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 25 with palladium hardware
Year: 2019
Size 25 x 19 x 14 cm
Class: 1

Estimated: HK $ 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Sold: HK $ 1,764,000 (about US $ 224,000)

Kathah 3916 | Hermès 2019 | Matte White Himalayan Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 25 with palladium hardware
Year: 2019
Size 25 x 19 x 9 cm
Class: 1

Estimated: HK $ 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Sold: HK $ 1,638,000 (about US $ 208,000)

Himalayan bags are perhaps the most sought after item at fashion auctions. Last year in Hong Kong, the Himalayan Kelly 28 plated with 18k white gold and diamonds set a world auction record for a handbag at HK $ 4 million (about US $ 510,000) – breaking the record set the year before, while back at Christie’s Hong Kong, a Himalaya Kelly 25 without diamonds for HK $ 3.3 million (about US $ 420,000).

So, how did the Himalayan bag get that status?

The answer lies in craft and rarity. The Himalayan bag is named for the Himalayan mountains, not because of their origin, but their delicate color gradation. The smoky gray and brown on the sides gradually turned pearly white in the middle, almost resembling the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas.

Left: Kelly’s 28 cm record -breaking handbag | Right: Record before Kelly bag 25 cm

To achieve this effect is very difficult, because the color does not come from crocodile skin, but by a difficult staining process. Craftsmen should choose naturally lighter leather – which they themselves have tasted. Then the skin must be dried, descaled, depigmented, and finally redyed to create a gradient effect.

Handmade, each Himalayan bag is unique and can be customized according to the client’s preferences. Due to the time -consuming construction process, the brand only offers a very limited number of Himalayan bags to its VIP clients, making them almost inaccessible and collector’s items of very market value.


Kathah 3825 | Hermès 2021 | Alligator black matte & rouge vif leather quick Quelle Idole with palladium hardware
Year: 2021
Size 15 x 12 x 6 cm
Class: 1

Estimate: HK $ 600,000 – 800,000
Sold: HK $ 1,638,000 (about US $ 208,000)

In addition to the Himalayan bag, another Hermès bag that collectors love is the Quelle Idole – better known as the Kelly Doll. With an estimated low HK $ 600,000 (approximately US $ 76,000), the matte black crocodile and rouge vif leather Swift quelle idol earned HK $ 1.6 million (approximately $ 200,000).

First released in 2000, it was designed by Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas. With a smiling face and a dandling arm, the bag is an excellent Kelly bag. A creative mix of luxury handbags and children’s toys, even named after a toy from the French phrase “quelle idole”, which translates to “what an idol!”

The Kelly doll was designed for the opening of the SOGO department store in Hong Kong in 2010

Originally sold for about US $ 2,500, until the bag discontinued in 2005, the bag became the most coveted item of Hermès collectors. Since 2008, Kelly Doll has reappeared from time to time, mostly to mark the opening of new boutiques around the world and rarely in the resale market.

Kelly’s HSS doll
Custom made orders with a special horseshoe stamp

Exciting news for handbag lovers came in 2017, when the first HSS – a special order featuring a special horseshoe stamp – Kelly Doll appeared from a Hermès workshop. From now on, many examples come in the secondary market with various combinations.

The rarest and most popular HSS Kelly doll is made in Matte Alligator – which is now plentiful – because the brand makes a very limited production.


Other highlights:

Kathah 3958 | Hermès 2020 | Limited edition bleu du nord swift leather & osier Mini Picnic Kelly with palladium hardware
Year: 2020
Measures 18.5 x 13.5 x 7 cm
Class: 1

Estimate: HK $ 240,000 – 320,000
Sold: HK $ 1,071,000 (about US $ 136,000)

At the end of the last decade, mini bags reigned supreme. Recently in the world of handbags, which are smaller in size, I have a long waiting list. So, when the classic Kelly is reduced to a mini bag – not to mention a lovely wicker basket in the summer – it’s no surprise that collectors will go viral and spend millions of dollars.

Kathah 3928 | Hermès 2020 | Kellywood 22 fauve & oak swamp leather with palladium hardware
Year: 2020
Size 22 x 19 x 8.5 cm
Class: 1

Estimate: HK $ 600,000 – 800,000
Sold: HK $ 1,512,000 (approximately US $ 192,000)

Kathah 3968 | Hermès 2020 | Alligator sea matte bleu, madame dark blue, orange h swift, bleu indigo & bleu obscur sombrero, craie epsom leather faubourg seller Birkin 20 with palladium hardware

Year: 2020
Size 20 x 16 x 11 cm
Class: 1
Estimate: HK $ 800,000 – 1,200,000
Sold: HK $ 1,260,000 (about US $ 160,000)