Handbags newest auction hits The still redhot status handbag market driven by celebrity trendsetters such as katie holmes and victoria beckham has not escaped the notice of some big auction houses.They say it a new and growing category that is attracting a global clientele of sellers and buyers. The last five years there been an incredible growth and interest from the average consumer in that type of piece, said matt rubinger, director of luxury accessories at heritage auctions. At its holiday sale a year later, a red crocodile skin hermes birkin bag set a world auction record when it sold for $203, 150.A blue crocodile version at the same auction sold for $113, 525, and a shiny red crocodile birkin fetched $95, 600.All three shattered the previous record of $82, 100 for a black crocodile birkin sold at christie london in 2009 two years after christies sold two dozen hermes kelly bags and other designer handbags and accessories.That 2007 sale convinced christie to get in this game, and there is a london auction planned by christie for november with 70 bags by hermes coupled with vintage couture of early 20th century designs by chanel, louis vuitton and lanvin. This past january, heritage expanded to include weekly online sales that start at $1 and have no reserve and estimates.Generally, pieces sell from $500 to $2, 500. There is the occasional bargain, though:Recently, a rare louis vuitton tophandle bag in navyblue Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags lucite realized $325 during a heritage weekly sale, and a vintage carlos falchi clutch sold for as little as $69. Often the more modern versions, the brightest colours and rare leathers that sell for the highest prices, said christie fashion specialist clare borthwick. These bags are relatively new pieces, most designed in the last 20 years, although some date back to 1950. It comes down to quality and craftsmanship, with hermes positioned at the very top as the ultimate musthave status symbol with its tailored and sophisticated birkin and kelly silhouettes. (The Louis Vuitton Shoes bags are named after french actress jane birkin and the late grace kelly. )They are fine leather, limited edition, handcrafted pieces that hours and hours and hours to make, said rubinger. Other popular, classic and coveted bags are the louis vuitton duffelstyle keepall and its smallersized cousin, the speedy, and Louis Vuittonhttp://www.kiss10.com/ the chanel classic flap bag with its signature chain strap. The waiting list for a new hermes bag can be considerable, leading many people to discover auctions as a viable alternative, added carole gordon, head of bonhams jewelry department, which combines its fashion accessory categories under one umbrella.Auctions are also often home to and one of a kind pieces, she said.It also a place where styles no longer available in the retail market can be discovered. While many people may think it crass to spend five or six digits on a bag, the auction houses said they hold their value. Bags appreciate the moment you buy them, said rubinger.Compare that someone who spent $200 on a bag in the primary market that isn worth anything as soon as they buy it with no secondary market for it.Really tried and true pieces hold their value and increase their value over time.There a huge market for these pieces, he added. Depending click here to see more info on the brand, the model and the piece, a seller can get between 50 and 120 cents on the dollar, said rubinger. Of our buyers buy to wear.We don necessarily have collectors, said borthwick.Don know if that might change in the future.Prices at a may bonhams auction featuring hermes bags from a private collection, most of them unused and in their original packaging, were reflection of the rarity of these bespoke items, said gordon, adding that the british auctioneer was considering holding future handbag sales. Rubinger said he gets consignment pieces every day. To prove his point, during an interview he walked over to a large unopened box sitting on a table in heritage new york office that had just arrived from qatar.He slit it open to find two louis vuitton purses.