Handbag sold for over £166,000 breaks world record

The Hermes Birkin bag was made from rare Himalayan crocodile skin

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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.

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