Sunday August 19, 2012

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton. What woman wouldn’t covet a handbag by one of these iconic fashion houses?

Now some big auction houses are getting in on the act. They say it’s a new and growing category that’s attracting interest from all over.

Heritage Auctions says there’s been an incredible interest from the average consumer in the last five years. Heritage offers signature auctions, private sales and weekly online auctions where pieces generally sell for $500 to $2,500.

In 2011, Heritage sold a red crocodile Hermes Birkin bag for $203,150. It set a world auction handbag record, previously held by a black crocodile Birkin sold at Christie’s in 2009 for $82,100.

There is the occasional bargain, though: Recently, a rare Louis Vuitton top-handle bag in navy-blue Lucite realized $325 during a Heritage weekly sale, and a vintage Carlos Falchi clutch sold for as little as $69.


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