When evaluating the luxury vintage handbags that will go on auction on November 30 for sky-high prices, Christie’s adopts a critical eye.

“One of my very important jobs is to [determine] whether this is a real bag or whether it’s really from the brand,” says Winsy Tsang, Christie’s head of sale for handbags and accessories in Asia.

Christie’s uses a six-step grading system to evaluate all of its handbags, with a “Grade 1” being most valuable. A Grade 1 handbag, says Tsang, “appears as new, or never used”.

One of Hermès’ matte white Himalayan Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin is on auction this month, upping anticipation for the event. Last year, a Hermès Niloticus bag made “fashion history” when it sold for a record HK$2.33 million.

Also up for bidding are a set of Hermès mini bags, featuring a Birkin, Bolide, Constance, Faco, Farming, Kelly, Roulis and Toolbox – all in either lizard or alligator.

“These exceptionally rare and unique pieces are being offered for the first time at auction,” says Matthew Rubinger, Christie’s senior vice-president and international director, handbags and accessories, for Asia and EMERI.

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