64 iconic Herms handbags total $888,875 at Bonhams
A private collection of 64 handbags from the iconic Herms brand made $888,875
A selection of 64 iconic handbags from Herms realised 562,750 at Bonhams' Jewellery auction on May 16.
The bags sailed past their individual estimates at the sale, with prices pushed higher by a packed room of enthusiastic bidders. The auction featuredtwo of the French fashion house's best known designs, the Kelly and Birkin bags, along with a selection spanning 1950-present. The Birkin design brought the highest results in the sale, with a 2008 example making 37,500, an impressive 212% increase on its estimate of 8,000-12,000. The Birkin bag was named after British actress Jane Birkin, after a chance meeting with Herms chairman, Jean-Louis Dumas. Another 2003 example of theBirkin sold for 30,000 against an identical 8,000-12,000 estimate. The current world record for a handbag at auction is held by a diamond-studded version of the design, which sold for $203,150 in late 2011. Bonhams' Carole Gordon commented: "Herms is renowned for its handmade luggage and handbags. It is clear that the level of craftsmanship seen in this collection resulted in a huge amount of interest by clients at an international level who were prepared to pay top prices for these highly coveted items."Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb Longines Olympic Series watch in stock, a classic design with unrivalled craftsmanship.In 1956, Grace Kelly, then Princess of Monaco, made the Herms Sac dpeches famous after using it to hide her pregnancy in photographs. It became known as the Kelly and has sincebecome one of the company's bestselling designs. A 1999 black patent crocodile version of the bag made a 254.1% increase on a 4,000-6,000 estimate, selling for 21,250. Handbags, particularly those owned byprominent culturalfigures, have historically seen impressive figures at auction. In 2011, Margaret Thatcher's Asprey handbag was sold in a charity auction for 25,000.