The grotesque yet the most sought after handbag from Hermès- the coveted Birkin is the cause of many a heartburn. Most recently the auction house – Christie’s has been sued for $ 60 Million by another auctioneer – Heritage Auctions. The suit is over Christie’s International poaching the star of Heritage Auctions’ Luxury Goods divisions – Matthew Rubinger and his team. Art business is going through such a slump that Christie’s too have focussed on auctioning luxury goods, which is the forte of Heritage Auctions.
As per the New York Times, “No one, it is said, knows more about the buying and selling of pre-owned Hermès bags than Matthew Rubinger, Heritage’s Birkin whispere!”. Now Mr. Rubinger, 26, has left for Christie’s International — and the battle of the Birkins has begun. Rubinger learnt the ropes of selling pre-owned Birkins at Heritage Auction, which these auction houses sell as ‘Rare’ or ‘Vintage’ (The word ‘Used’ is sacrilege.) at unthinkable of prices. As per NYT a coveted Hermès White Himalayan Birkin, dyed in brown and beige crocodile was sold at $115,000. At a Heritage auction in late 2011, a brilliant red crocodile Hermès Birkin, with 18-karat white-gold and diamond-encrusted hardware, sold for a record $203,000. Last December, a one-of-a-kind Hermès Kelly bag, in porosus crocodile and black Togo leather, with geranium-colored feet, went for $125,000.
The lawsuit filed by Heritage against Chiristie’s for $ 60 Million reveals that Heritage spent some $3.6 million compiling inventory (aka purses). With that many items to sell, the lawsuit alleges that Rubinger received “special training and introduction to sources” in Asia, the fastest growing auction market in the world for art and luxury goods. As per Bloomberg:The “trade secrets” Heritage is suing over include “customer and dealer lists,” “customer requirements,” and “compilations of information.” The suit continues: When Rubinger was “fresh from his graduation from college, even though he had no prior contacts,” it alleges, Heritage gave him access to its database of buyers and sellers.
A leather bag worth $ 200,000, that is approximately Rupees 1.25 Crores….INSANE!!! Do our Desi Bag -Hags have one of these rare Birkin? What say Anu Dewan, Nina Verma, Tanisha Mohan and Pallavi Puri, and oh yes, Pernia Qureshi and Shabnam Singhal??? If yes, I just wanna touch and feel it once.