Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau is putting on auction a collection of 77 handbags. The handbags include this Hermès Birkin with diamond-encrusted clasp, with an estimated price of up to HK$2 million (US$255,000) The collection is expected to fetch up to US$3 million at auction.
The fugitive tycoon has recently participated in auctions, selling a portfolio of Chinese imperial ceramics and a collection of renowned wines. The largest single-owner handbag sale in Asia, valued at much to HK$16.3 million (US$2 million), will be held by fugitive Hong Kong millionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung through Sotheby’s auction house.
Six Hermès Birkin purses with diamond-encrusted clasps and accents are among the 77-piece collection, which Sotheby’s claims Lau curated over a 20-year period. One of the bags is reportedly worth up to HK$2 million (US$255,426).
77 Handbags For HK$16.3 Million At Auction, Including Six Diamond Hermès Birkins
From January 30 to February 9, the 71-year-old tycoon’s collection will be put up for online auction. “The limited-edition items that made and defined the history of handbags in the last two decades can all be found in this collection,” said Morgane Halimi, global head of Sotheby’s handbags and accessories.
Hermès Birkin bags are among the priciest in the world; prices range from HK$70,000 to HK$4 million, and there are renownedly long waiting lists for them. After American actress Grace Kelly and British actress Jane Birkin, respectively, are the Birkin and Kelly handbags.
The bags are made in France by Hermès utilising high-end materials like calf, alligator, and even ostrich leather. Each bag is totally handmade. A portion of the sale earnings from this auction, according to Sotheby’s website, will be given to charity. Lau has participated in sales. After selling his collection of well-known wines for HK$64 million through Christie’s last year, Lau realised a profit of more than five times that amount.
After experiencing losses on his stock market investments, the entrepreneur also placed up for auction through Sotheby’s a collection of Chinese imperial porcelain valued up to HK$151 million last year.
In the first half of last year, Chinese Estates Holdings, the Hong Kong developer controlled by Lau’s family, generated a profit of HK$870.6 million after selling more than half of the HK$364.6 million worth of shares it had in the indebted mainland firm China Evergrande Group.
With a net worth of $13.6 billion as of Tuesday, Lau was the sixth-richest person in Hong Kong last year, according to Forbes.
A Macau court found the tycoon guilty of bribery and money laundering in 2014, but he escaped a five-year prison sentence by choosing not to go to Macau.
The fugitive businessman has recently become embroiled in problems involving his ex-girlfriend, Yvonne Lui Lai-kwan, who is the mother of Lau’s children, Chi-fung, 12, and Zoe, 20.
The majority, if not all, of Hermès’ items are handmade, which is the primary factor in their high price. This upmarket store takes great care in its high-end goods, and as a result, producing them has long been regarded as an art form.
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