Christies exclusive Luxury Week achieves European record for a handbag sold at auction

By Rose Adams | 06 Jun 2018 | Style

The auction house put on a group of luxury auctions in London

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* This exceptional, HERMÈS shiny crocodile sapphire Birkin 35, with 18k white gold & yellow sapphire hardware, broke the European record for a handbag achieved at auction. This was the first time a handbag decorated with yellow sapphires has been sold at auction.

They say you can’t put a price on luxury, but art business Christies Auction House certainly challenged that with the launch of its Luxury Week in London, inspired by the news that the luxury category accounted for 29% of all new Christies customers in 2017. The exciting event took place from 6-13 June, and made for the ideal platform to celebrate this interest, offering fashion fans and wine connoisseurs the opportunity to bid on a group of special edition auctions alongside interactive presentations. Three important auctions took place at the stylish event, including Finest & Rarest Wines and Spirits on 7 June, Handbags & Accessories on 12 June, and Important Jewels on 13 June.

Undoubtedly the stand out sale was the record-breaking Handbags & Accessories, which presented a white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile diamond Birkin with 18k white gold and diamond hardware. The handbag broke the European record achieved for a handbag sold at auction, fetching an impressive £162,500. The total lot scooped £2,932,125 and also included a Hermès painted white & red Ardennes Leather Nasa Retourné Kelly, which realised £40,000, and a Hermès Shiny Bleu Roi Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 With 18k White Gold & Diamond Hardware, which sold for £100,000.

Other notable lots on offer include 12 bottles of Petrus 1982, selling for an estimated £28,000-£38,000, and two bottles of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1999 with an estimate of £20,000-£30,000. Among the important lots in the Jewels Sale is a highly elegant Belle Époque Diamond Tiara, formerly owned by HRH The Crown Princess of Yugoslavia, and from the collection of The Princes of Orléans Braganza, estimated at an impressive £140,000-210,000.

Related: Diamond Watch owned by Elvis Presley sets new world record at auction

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* Christies Auction House helmed its own Luxury Week in London, offering fashion fans and wine connoisseurs the opportunity to bid on a group of special edition auctions alongside interactive presentations, including a record-breaking collection of rare HERMÈS handbags.

The Christie’s London Private Sale exhibition went on view for the entirety of Luxury Week, enabling collectors to view a carefully curated variety of timepieces from the world’s most supreme manufactures such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. A combination of vintage classics were on display as well as contemporary designs, with prices ranging upwards of £20,000. Christies experts were also on hand throughout the week presenting private one-to-one sales exhibition with customers.

“Luxury is a growth category for Christie’s with an increase in registrants year on year and the highest proportion of new buyers.” Global managing director, Luxury at Christie’s, Aline Sylla-Walbaum said. “While we thrive at presenting our global client base with all year-round online auctions, we feel our Luxury weeks established in 2016 are a key convening moment. Luxury Week in London is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the breadth that Christie’s has to offer, from wine to watches, jewellery to handbags, and with prices ranging from £200 to £450,000, we truly have something for every type of buyer. We are also thrilled that our exhibition coincides with Indian Art which allows for and fosters cross category appreciation and buying.”

Christie’s has reported global auction sales in 2017 of £4.5 billion – a 34% increase over 2016 – with this figure set to rise once more, cementing its position as the world's leading art business.