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Hermès: the 14 rarest bags of the house

Alert to all collectors! I discovered, thanks to my new post on Hermes bag colors, some real nuggets, so rare that sometimes they only exist in a few copies in the world 🤫.

So of course, we're going to talk about the famous and scandalous Birkin Himalaya diamonds but not only! As you probably know, I have a great sensitivity for craftsmanship, especially leather goods, so let's go off the beaten path and explore together these 16 rare Kelly and Birkin from the house of Hermès.


N°14: HERMÈS KELLY TEDDY

hermès kelly teddy

Designed in 2005 by Jean-Paul Gaultier when he was artistic director of Hermès, the Kelly Teddy was manufactured only in very small quantities.


This cuddly bag has been produced in 2 colors:

  • The first one is brown. Its size is 35, enough to carry some ski stuff inside. It is made of sheepskin on the outside and goat leather (maybe Mysore goat?) on the inside and on the straps. Palladium jewelry.

  • The second one is chestnut color (light brown). It is size 40, so there you can put your ski poles. It is made of sheepskin on the outside and on the straps. The interior is made of goat leather (Mysore again ? 😉 ).

Its price? In 2015, it was auctioned at $36,000, then at $70,000 in 2017.

Today it can be found at $135,000 as an immediate purchase.


Features:

  • Kelly 35 and 40

  • Exterior : Woolen skin

  • Interior : Chèvre / Goatskin

  • Sellier

  • Hardware : Palladium

Retailer price : about 90 000€.


N°13 : HERMÈS KELLYdole PICTO

The original Hermès Kellydoll/Kellydole bag, also known as Quelle Idole, was first introduced in 2000. It is based on a design by Jean-Louis Dumas, former CEO of the Hermès Group. Originally, this bag was presented in eight colors: Orange H, Red H, Black, Hazelnut, Sapphire Blue, Olive Green, Raw Green and Bright Red and was sold for about 2500€. As it stopped being sold in 2005, collectors immediately seized the opportunity to acquire each color, making it a must-have for any collection.


In 2022, for the Hermès Spring/Summer collection, the Kellydole Picto bag was presented as a modernized edition of the original playful creation. The new version is pixelated as if it came out of a retro video game . Other changes included a shoulder strap and a mini backpack attached to the most adorable Hermes bag.


The Kellydole Picto is available in two colors: Mauve Sylvestre (a pale pink with a cool undertone) and Nata (a cream white).


Features :

  • Kellydole 16

  • Exterior : Epsom calf

  • Interior : Swift calf

  • Sellier

  • Hardware : Palladium

Store price 2022: about 14 000€.

Reseller price: about 105 000$ or about 96 000€.


N°12 : HERMÈS METALLIC BRONZE BIRKIN 25

VERY RARE BIRKIN ALERT!


You will ask me "but why this Birkin is so rare? What is so special about it? Well, its color is its particularity.


Called a "vintage treasure" by Christie's, who sold it at auction in 2017, this famous Birkin Bronze was made in 2005 in very, very small quantities.


Know this, but each Hermes bag with metallic leather is very rare, because this type of color was reserved only for VIPs of the house for a collection called "Mondore Collection" and which was very quickly stopped. Hence the absolute rarity of these bags.


This famous Birkin is inspired by the 24 Faubourg windows imagined by Leïla Menchari who created these from 1978 to 2013. Her very varied and elaborate decorations included aluminum horses, Moroccan souks and caves in mother of pearl, and spider webs made of glittering threads. In short, anything that glitters.

Each piece of these showcases were made by the craftsmen of the house of Hermes but never put on sale ... Until 2005 for the Mondore collection.


It is said that this Birkin is extremely fragile because of its color. Because to produce this metallic bronze on Chèvre Mysore leather, well, you have to hang on. The colorists in the tanneries had to multiply the layers, like a millefeuille, to obtain this result, influencing the texture which differs from the usual Chèvre Mysore leather (Goatskin).


Features :

  • Birkin 25

  • Chèvre mysore (Goatskin) - bronze

  • Retourné

  • Hardware : Gold plated

In short, this is an exceptional Birkin, in almost new condition that was sold at auction in 2017 for the modest sum of €100,000.


N°11 : HERMÈS METALLIC SILVER BIRKIN 25

We continue our trend of metallic leathers (and it's not over yet) with a Birkin 25 in silver Chèvre Mysore (goatskin) !


It has the same story as the previous one, it is from the same year and of course comes from the same collection.


Features

  • Birkin 25

  • Chèvre Mysore (Goatskin) - Silver/Argent

  • Retourné

  • Hardware : Palladium

Exceptional bag = Exceptional price


In 2021, at Sotheby's, it was sold at auction for $126,000 or about €116,000


N°10 : HERMÈS METALLIC SILVER AND BRONZE BIRKIN 25

This one is a perfect mix of the two previous ones. We always stay on the same year, the same story, the same collection, you start to know the song.


This Birkin has a silver body and bronze leather trim. An exceptional piece, which has been worn a lot since the silver color of the leather is damaged at the handle, which certainly did not dissuade bidders from opening their wallets.


Features

  • Birkin 25

  • Chèvre Mysore (Goatskin) - Silver/Argent and bronze

  • Retourné

  • Hardware : Palladium

Sold by Sotheby's at 1,071,000 HKD or approximately 126 000€.


N°9 : HERMÈS SILVER STERLING KELLY 15

We are going to talk about metal again but this time literally because it is a Kelly bag, all in silver, yes yes it is entirely in solid silver.


We saw it on the arm of Kim Kardashian and her sister Kylie Jenner, this bag which is a real piece of jewelry is VERY rare. I think you're starting to get used to rarity with this ranking.


It's another exceptional bag, not really practical because of its size, it oxidizes (it's silver hehe) and it should only be worn for social events (or everyday if you're called Kardashian/Jenner).


It comes with a chain, also in silver, called anchor chain (iconic model at Hermès), to be able to wear this wonder like a traditional bag. Fantastic isn't it (can you feel my jealousy?).


Sold in 2015 at Christie's for $50,000, today it can be found for only $225,000 or €207,000 (a bargain).


Features

  • Kelly 15

  • Silver sterling 925

Reseller price : about 207 000€.


N°8 : HERMÈS black CROCODyLUS POROSUS and diamonds

Come on, it's time to move on to exotic skins. And not just any skins, I named the Crocodilus Porosus or for those who didn't study Latin in college: the marine crocodile.


Well, clearly, we want to put a lot of attention, we want to be the center of attention, but be careful with delicacy. We are not on a Himalayan dress but on an elegant black patent leather with a white gold and diamonds jewelry (a lot of diamonds) because as long as we have to do it, we might as well go all out.


You get a lot of eye candy and you get what you pay for.

To make this type of bag, you don't have to be a softy, 3 crocodiles are used to make one bag.

1 crocodile belly = the front of the bag

1 crocodile belly = the back of the bag

1 crocodile belly = the sides of the bag (the belly is cut in two)

1 crocodile tail = the bottom of the bag


Sold at auction at Christies in 2017 for HKD 1,875,000 or approximately €221,000.


Features

  • Birkin 25

  • Crocodilus Porosus black patent

  • Retourné

  • Hardware : White gold and diamonds

Reseller price : about 221 000€.


N°7 : HERMÈS BIRKIN 20 FAUBOURG SNOW

Haaaa the Birkin Faubourg, my favorite sin, the jewel of leather goods in one bag!


A beautiful tribute to 24 Faubourg (Hermès' historical boutique in Paris), inaccessible to the common man, intended for experienced (and wealthy) collectors, this Birkin is part of a series of 4 other bags with the names : Day, Night, Snow and Midnight / Jour, Nuit, Neige et Minuit.


The design is a replica of the historic Hermès storefront, with orange awnings hanging over the store windows, while the key bell is designed to mimic the iconic Hermès orange shopping bag in every detail.


The colors and leathers change from one edition to the next, the latest released, in 2021, are the Birkin Faubourg Snow and Midnight/Neige et Minuit.


It's still a very very rare bag, considered by insiders to be a grail on par with the Birkin and Kelly Himalaya (which we'll see later in the ranking 😉 ).


Features

  • Birkin 20

  • Sellier

  • Togo, Swift, Alligator, Chèvre Mysore, Sombrero

  • Hardware : Palladium

Store price : 30 000 and 40 000

Reseller price : 226 000€ and more


N°6 : HERMÈS BIRKIN 20 FAUBOURG MIDNIGHT

We take the same and we start again (but we change the color and materials).


Here we find the know-how of the Hermès workshops, here is the Midnight edition of Birkin Faubourg which reproduces the windows of the iconic store of the house, but at night.

(Well, when I walk past Hermès after midnight the windows are turned off. When will we see a Birkin Faubourg Midnight Energy Sobriety?)


Regarding the materials, this time, the alligator is found on the flap of the bag, the body of the bag is made of calf leather Madame, which has the same type of grain as epsom but finer.


The hardware is in "So black" or blackened metal. This is a process called "burnishing" which consists in dipping the metal in a solution that will quickly blacken the metal to give it that rock look. Be careful, blackened metal is fragile and does not resist scratches.

Features

  • Birkin 20

  • Sellier

  • Madame, Alligator, Swift, Sombrero

  • Hardware : Black Palladium

Store price : 30 000 and 40 000$

Reseller price : 250 000€ and more


N°5 : HERMÈS KELLYWOOD PERSPECTIVE CAVALIÈRE

Wood, leather, marquetry of wood and leather, such was the recipe of the Kellywood Perspective Cavalière.


A masterpiece of technicality, the perfect alliance between the know-how of cabinetmakers and leatherworkers for this Kelly that is so special. Two bags were released to celebrate this collaboration: the Kellywood and the Kellywood Perspective Cavalière.


The Kellywood features an inlaid leather and wood design with a Bauhaus pattern called "perspective cavalière". This design was created by the creative collective Anamorphée and has been previously declined on squares, watches, bracelets etc.

2022 collection


Features

  • Kelly

  • Wood and leather marquetry Togo, Epsom, Clémence

  • Barénia and wood

  • Hardware : Palladium

Reseller price: about 260 000€ (at this price, I hope the splinters don't come with it)


N°4 : HERMÈS KELLY SO BLACK FEATHERS

Another masterpiece of craftsmanship, the result of the collaboration between the leather workers of the House of Hermès and the feather workers to create this superb Kelly in black box calfskin and feathers on the front of the bag.


Made in 2010, we are on a Kelly 28, chic in its black box calfskin structure, with a very rock touch for the black feathers à la Black Swan and its blackened metal jewelry called "So Black".


Sold by Christie's at auction in 2022, which estimated it at between €80,000 and €100,000, this unique Kelly exceeded all estimates and was sold at €277,000.


Features

  • Kelly 28

  • Boxcalf - black

  • Sellier

  • Hardware : Black Palladium / So Black

Reseller price : 277 000€


N°3 : hermès Kellywood

Here it is, the second Kellywood!


This Kellywood in wood and leather was born from the collaboration between Hermès for its know-how in leather goods and the cabinetmaker Arca who invented this wood trimmed with metal that covers the body of this bag so singular.


To tell you a little more about the history of this Kellywood, I have to tell you about Arca. This cabinet maker is not like any other, its particularity lies in innovation. They are the authors of many inventions around wood such as Airwood, inflatable wood, or Larmé Wood©, which is the coating used for this bag.


What exactly is Larmé Wood? Arca tells us: "LARMED WOOD© allows us to create "fast ornaments" by marrying a veneer of fine essence and a sheet of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, brass, bronze or copper. The 3D printing of our own grids allows us to control the patterns, dimensions, colors and relief. After sanding, the grid partially reappears on the surface, creating patterns that can be regular or erratic". Ingenious isn't it?


This Kelly, which took 2 years to hatch, is therefore a concentrate of innovation on its own, as if we married the craft of pure leather with the inventiveness around wood. Ahh, how I love this type of creation made of living materials. For the blow, one understands better the price of this small jewel.


Features

  • Kelly

  • For the wood part : swamp oak and aluminum

  • For the leather part : Barenia

  • Hardware : Palladium

Reseller price : Around 300 000€


N°2 : HERMÈS KELLY feathers mozaic

We continue on our demonstration of the craftsmanship of the house Hermes with this beautiful Kelly in mosaic of feathers. Quite a program!


It is rare, perhaps even unique, it is exceptional thanks to this patchwork of different types of feathers (do not ask me what it is, I am not a specialist).


This Kelly also dates from 2010, like the Kelly So Black Feathers. It's another successful collaboration, with an added challenge for technicality, made by leather craftsmen and feather makers.


Sold by Christies in 2021, the famous auction house estimated it between 70 000 and 90 000€, it was sold at 322 000€.


Features

  • Kelly 32

  • Feathers mozaic

  • Swift - étoupe

  • Sellier

  • Hardware : Palladium

Reseller price : 322 000€


N°1: HERMÈS BIRKIN himalaya crocodile & DIAmonds

Well, you already know it. It's the Birkin Himalaya and diamonds from Hermès.


Personally, I do not like this bag at all. That's it, I've expressed my opinion and we'll move on.


So what explains the high prices at auction for this bag?

  1. The Hermès brand

  2. The raw material because unlike the bag #8 of this ranking which is also in crocodile, it does not take 3 crocodiles to make it but 4 (only on the diamond version). We do not bother with the tail of the crocodile for the bottom, we replace it by a new crocodile and we put his belly. While we're at it (can you feel my bitterness?).

    • 1 crocodile belly = the front of the bag

    • 1 crocodile belly = the back of the bag

    • 1 crocodile belly = the sides of the bag (the belly is cut in two)

    • 1 crocodile belly = the bottom of the bag

  3. The technicality to realize the dyeing of the skin. This type of skin called "Himalaya" is expensive and even more so when it takes 4 crocodiles to make a bag.

  4. Basically, it is a crocodylus niloticus (a Nile Crocodile) which, after a very long and meticulous process on the part of the tanner, obtains a light color (which is difficult to obtain on a crocodile skin). Then it is dyed on the sides to obtain this snowy peaks effect, which is where the name Himalaya comes from. To give you an idea, a Himalaya crocodile skin sells for about 650/700€/piece.

  5. The jewelry. White gold and diamonds. Nothing to add.

  6. The rarity of the bag, even if there are clearly rarer. In particular the Kelly with feather inserts, the Kellywood etc.

  7. The "hype", the hullabaloo around this bag, the multi-millionaire bidders jostling for their grail. "If you don't have your Himalaya by the time you're 40, you've missed your life", that's what the buyers of this bag must think.

Features

  • Birkin 30

  • Crocodylus Niloticus mat, color Himalaya

  • Hardware : White gold and diamonds

Reseller price : Between 450 000 and 500 000€.

 

This is the end of this ranking! I hope you enjoyed this article.

Feel free to tell me what your favorite bag is in the comments. We have the right to dream 💭 .

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