Handbags and Accessories

Most Expensive Hermès Bags: First Half of 2022

By Max Brownawell
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Hermès Mini Kelly
Hermès Mini Kelly

Hermès Mini Bag Mania

The first half of 2022 has been dominated by smaller Hermès bags selling at the highest prices regardless of the channel. Leather Hermès bags are also selling at higher premiums relative to retail versus most exotic bags, with a few exceptions. The price of the 20cm Hermès Kelly bag has been averaging more at auction and Buy Now than other Birkin or Kelly bag. Both 25cm Birkin and Kelly bags are the next most popular followed by 28cm Kelly bags and 30cm Birkin bags. New bags from 2021-2022 with plastic still on the hardware are also selling for about 10%+ premium versus bags in pristine condition that are either older or the plastic has been removed. Prices for Birkin and Kelly bags have increased an average of 10% since the beginning of 2022. Auction prices for leather 20cm Kellys remain stable at an average of $28,500. Auction results for 25cm Kellys have averaged $25,000 so far this year, 28cm Kellys $21,000 and 32cm Kellys $13,500. Average results for 25cm Birkins top $23,750, whereas 30cm Birkins have averaged $19,000 and 35cm Birkins $12,500, close to the current retail price for the size at Hermes. Average prices reflect varying condition so new bags from 2021-2022 with plastic on the hardware generally sell 10%+ above the average depending on color and material.

Hermès Shadow Birkin 25 Gold Swift Palladium Hardware

Hermès Limited Edition Shadow Birkin Bags

Shadow Birkin bags are shaping up to be one of the only Limited Editions rising in auction value. The new 25cm Shadow Birkin bags have only had a presence on the auction market for about a year, but results are trending upward. Sotheby’s sold an Etoupe Shadow Birkin 25 for $51,385 in April 2022, well above the $46,500 auction average for the style. Older 35cm and 40cm Shadow Birkin bags are trending upwards as well, though no examples have come to auction so far this year.

Hermès Birkin 25 Rose Sakura Swift Palladium Hardware

Record Breaking Color: Rose Sakura

Hermès Rose Sakura Birkin bags have been on the auction market since 2016 and remains a collector’s favorite. The delicate pink, meant to evoke Japanese Cherry blossoms, is primarily available in Swift leather. In April 2022, Sotheby’s set a new auction record for a leather Birkin or Kelly bag with the sale of a 25cm Rose Sakura Swift Birkin with Palladium Hardware for $64,230. Birkin bags in this color and size have averaged over $30,000 at auction since 2020.

Hermès Birkin 25 Metallic Silver and Bronze Chevre Palladium Hardware

Rare Metallic Birkin Bags

Metallic Birkin bags were first released to coincide with the Athens Olympics in 2004. Gold, Silver and Bronze Chevre Birkin bags were produced in extremely limited quantities. Very few bags have survived in good condition as the metallic finish has been known to wear off with use. In April 29 2022, the third metallic Birkin ever sold at auction set a new record for leather bags at $136,490, a possibly unique Silver example with Bronze piping. This price broke the previous Sotheby's record set in December 2021 of $126,000 for a 2004 Metallic Silver Chèvre Birkin 25.

Hermès Birkin 30 Gold Togo Palladium Hardware

Gold Rush

Gold has been a staple Hermes color for decades. In recent years, the popularity of store-fresh Birkin and Kelly bags in this shade has skyrocketed. The most desirable store fresh bags are from 2021-2022 and always have all of the plastic on the hardware. In March 3 2022, Sotheby’s sold a 30cm Gold Togo Birkin with Palladium Hardware for $44,618, the second highest price ever paid for a neutral leather Birkin or Kelly, topped only by Sotheby’s June 1 2020 sale of a 5P Pink Epsom Birkin 30 for $47,500. In October 2021 Sotheby’s set the record for regular leather Kellys with the sale of a 28cm Gold Epsom example with Gold Hardware for $45,374. A 35cm Gold Epsom Birkin in rare Sellier construction achieved $41,750 in Sotheby’s April 29 2022 auction as well. Previous results for regular 35cm Gold Epsom Birkins average less than $8,000. Adjacent to Gold, a 30cm Fauve Barenia Faubourg Birkin with Gold hardware brought $38,538 in Sotheby’s April 2022 auctionin Hong Kong, a record price for any type of Barenia leather. Barenia leather is a favorite among Hermes collectors, used primarily in saddlery. Around five years ago Hermes released Barenia Faubourg, a new type of Barenia distinct for its grain. Since then only eight examples of Barenia Faubourg Brikins and Kellys have sold at auction.

Hermès Himalaya Birkin 30 Matte White Crocodile Niloticus 18K White Gold and Diamond Hardware

Hermès Himalayas

The top results of the season were two Hermès Himalaya bags. An Hermès Himalaya Kelly 32cm set a record for its size at $163,800 in June 2022. An Hermès Himalaya Birkin 30cm sold for $208,750 in April 2022. The average auction price for a 30cm Himalaya Birkin was $146,500 over the last five years. Sotheby's also sold a Diamond Himalaya Birkin and Diamond Himalaya Kelly via private sale for over $450,000 in 2022.

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