Handbag sold for over £166,000 breaks world record

Record $243,000 handbag under the hammer

Feast your eyes on the world's most expensive handbag

A diamond encrusted Birkin from Hermes sold at the hammer price on Monday for $243,000 (£166,107).

It broke the world record for a handbag sale - set in Hong Kong last year - by over 20 grand.

The 10-year old bag was made from rare Himalayan crocodile skin....

Christies only launched its luxury handbag category two years ago -

But in Asia, private buyers have been doing business for a lot longer.

Women who can afford top-of-the-range Birkins often sell them for a profit - either to each other - or in second hand trade shops when they've had enough of wearing them.

If six figures is slightly out of your price range, there's a whole room of handbags on auction - including a rare sterling silver mini bag from Kelley.

Christies head of handbags collections explains what people are looking for:

Matthew Rubinger, Christie's Senior Vice-President for Asia, Handbags and Accessories said: "A lot of people are starting to focus on special pieces what the art market would call the blue chip pieces. More and more people are looking for rarities limited editions, thing that they can't find anywhere else - things that their friends don't have an that's really what's driving people to auction and to this particular market."

China may be feeling the pinch of an economic slowdown, but auctions like this are a reminder that there's still demand for the very top end of luxury.

As for auction houses, the opportunities are gleaming, especially at sales where women can literally carry their purchases home.

10 incredible auctions
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Handbag sold for over £166,000 breaks world record

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made


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