A rare diamond-encrusted Himalayan crocodile skin handbag sells for the hammer price of $243,000 in Hong Kong on Monday, setting the record for the world's most expensive handbag ever sold. Reuters' Tara Joseph reports on how luxury auction trends are shifting in this Asian fashion enclave.
Feast your eyes on the world's most expensive handbag A diamond encrusted Birkin from Hermes sold at the hammer price on Monday 243 thousand dollars. It broke the world record for a handbag sale - set here 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 here 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: (SOUNDBITE) (English) MATTHEW RUBINGER, CHRISTIE'S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT ASIA, HANDBAGS AND ACCESSORIES, SAYING: "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.